The best feeling in the world comes when we see others benefiting from something we do. When we cut all the trim, this becomes the truth behind why businesses are started. It is wonderful to get a paycheck for what we do, that whole “do your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life” concept comes to mind. Beyond that is the reality that we love seeing other people happy.

Enter service.

When we serve others, it is more than simply ‘doing good’ for others, it is a full circle notion. If you are old enough to remember (or live in a place like I do) a time when pulling into a gas station was a full-service interaction….

The scene: You pull up to a gas pump, an attendant comes out and asks you what gas you want, and how much you want. During this time, the attendant washes your windows, checks you oil, lets you know if they see anything out of the ordinary. Doesn’t happen like this anymore unless you live in Oregon (and have diesel).

The reason: Pumping your own gas could “create a dangerous situation” for some people. Regardless of the reason, it is service. Now, that service comes with a price, but it also comes with some amazing benefits…

A Gallant Act

Primarily when we serve others the construct is about doing a good deed. It is seeing others over yourself. It is doing something that others can see you as a real person. This is the epitome of servant leadership, not being ‘better than’ anyone else. A servant leader mindset says just because I hold a higher level of authority or responsibility doesn’t alleviate me from completing tasks or doing those things that are not required of that position.

This is love at its core… doing something for someone else without requiring any return.

A Giving Up

Serving does require us to give up certain aspects of life, albeit temporarily. To serve authentically we must be willing to give up our time, energy, finances, or knowledge. Maybe not all at once, however serving must include a giving up of something otherwise it is merely a transaction.

The biggest element we give up is time. Time is that only construct that cannot be replenished. When we give of our time, we are saying:

You are valuable.

You matter.

You have worth.

Too often people serve to get something (that transactional thing) back, often it is recognition. A dangerous line to walk and one that will destroy all integrity and character to those who act in that way. Giving up of our time to assist somebody when we don’t have to says a lot about the integrity and character of a person.

Serving takes our energy (which can be replaced by rest or sleep). Like time, when we serve others with energy, such as moving someone for instance, we are giving up something. Yet, one caveat about energy is that sometimes when we expend energy, new energy is created.

Serving can be giving up of our finances, which can be replaced too. Making money is an easy task inside of business. When we can’t or don’t know how to create time or energy we may give monetarily. Projects require tools, and money is one tool we can use.

Finally, serving can take our knowledge. The beautiful thing about knowledge is that when we give our knowledge, we don’t lose any of it, we only impart it to another who then has gained.

A Gain Obtained

Those who are last become first. When we elevate others by serving authentically, we are elevating ourselves too. The beauty of serving is found in what we, as servants, gain from the experience. There are four gains that happen when we serve. We gain perspective, perception, perseverance, and power.

We gain perspective when we serve. Seeing things from a different angle allows for growth, TV shows like “Undercover Boss” come to mind. We gain perception, which is we learn sensitivity, insight, and discernment about circumstances and situations that we may not have had before. We gain perseverance as we learn how to accept what we give up with our groaning about it. Finally, we gain power. This power is not a control type of power, but a power that gives up ability, strength, and drive.

When we sincerely love to serve others that love comes back to us. Can you remember the last time you loved to serve? Share your best story of service and what you gained from it.