Serving Out of Love: Chapel Reflection with Betsy Marvin

After 27 years working in ministry, Betsy Marvin knows a thing or two about living a life of service.

“We could talk about it in terms of the food service industry, leading worship services or international mission work but when I think of what it means to live a life of service, I think of acts of service,” she told members of the Kuyper community gathered in the Vos Chapel on April 2 for a twice-weekly service.

We must be willing to put others before ourselves and lend a helping hand when needed, the church ministry leader, speaker and podcaster said. It requires time, effort and sometimes, sacrifice.

“But plenty of people who don’t know the Lord do these things,” Marvin pointed out. “There are many doctors, lawyers, caregivers, and other people like that whose lives are dedicated to serving others.”

What makes what followers of Jesus are called to do for others go deeper than simple humanitarian charity, she asked the audience. How are Christians different?

Christian service, according to Marvin, is not about feeling needed, earning points with Jesus, always fun or easy, a way to be liked by others, martyrdom or where we should find our value.

She then answered her own question by saying: “As I thought about this, I realized that what makes service different for us is the why behind it. When we, as followers of Jesus, serve because we love Him, that changes the game entirely.”

When serving others is driven by our love for God, it becomes a spiritual practice, she added.

Just like an athlete who practices skills to build muscle memory, we need to practice being like Jesus, said Marvin. This way, when life presents us with opportunities to live out our Christian faith, we will be ready to respond.

“But we are never going to perfect the practices that Jesus has given us,” she emphasized. “As we train in them, our muscle memory will grow so that we automatically do it out of a love for Jesus.”

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