How to Serve One Another (and Why We Should)

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Get Out of Your Head" by Jennie Allen. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Why is it important to serve one another? How can we go about doing this?

According to the Bible, selflessness is an important quality to have. Learning how to serve one another is crucial for becoming a selfless person, and has the added benefit of improving your mental health.

Keep reading to find out how to serve one another—and why it’s important to do so.

Why Should We Serve One Another?

The way to defeat your enemy of complacency and its lie of self-indulgence is to choose others over yourself, to seek their good over your own comfort. See Jesus’s words: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

Choosing to serve one another sets in motion the ultimate positive, upward spiral:

  • You choose to serve.
  • So you take risks for Jesus.
  • So you begin to see past yourself, to other people’s needs.
  • So you do things for God’s glory.
  • So you lean progressively more on his divine strength.
  • So you feel a deeper longing to worship him.
  • So your enhanced worship makes you want even more of God.
  • So you take more risks.
  • And so on.

Here’s a visual showing the negative spiral of complacency and how to reverse it by choosing others over yourself.

How to Serve One Another

There are two primary ways to serve one another, one spiritual, the other practical:

Set Your Mind on Things Above

The primary spiritual way we can learn to serve one another is to follow Paul’s exhortation in Colossians 3:2 to “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Go “all in” with God. Then you’ll be able to see life on earth correctly as your focus on eternal realities conforms your heart-mind to the truth that you’ve been “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20) and now live this bodily life entirely through faith in Jesus, for the purpose of serving other people.

Surrender and Obey

The primary practical way to serve one another is to surrender and obey at all times. (Not incidentally, this is also God’s ultimate will for your life.) Surrender your whole life to God. Obey him where you are, in whatever circumstances he places you. Go where he says, do what he says, serve whom he brings. Concretely, surrender plus obedience might look like any number of activities. It could look like:

  • Waiting tables
  • Building spreadsheets
  • Standing against injustice
  • Comforting your distraught child
  • Cleaning up your messes or someone else’s
  • Writing thank-you notes
  • Encouraging a coworker
  • Absolutely any large or small daily action performed in surrender as an act of obedience and service

It is only by learning how to serve one another that our gaze will shift and enable us to catch a vision of God’s greater plan.

How to Serve One Another (and Why We Should)

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Jennie Allen's "Get Out of Your Head" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full Get Out of Your Head summary :

  • Satan’s master plan for poisoning your mind with toxic thoughts
  • How to replace ungodly lies with scriptural truths
  • How to “put on the mind of Christ” and fulfill God’s plan for you

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fairy tales, Beatrix Potter stories, and The Wind in the Willows. As of today, her all-time favorite book is Wuthering Heights, with Jane Eyre as a close second. Elizabeth has branched out to non-fiction since graduating and particularly enjoys books relating to mindfulness, self-improvement, history, and philosophy.

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