We can make of scenarios all day and crunch hypothetical numbers together, and to me that would be a great day. I am one of those odd people that likes crunching numbers, balancing budgets and doing the math. This might explain why I love teaching math more than any other subject. With math, there is only one right answer for every problem. When teaching reading I have found that there can be more than on right answer. If Sally has 7 rows of jelly beans with 10 in each row, the only amount of jelly beans she can have is 70. In literacy, you infer all day long about why does Sally have 70 jelly beans, or why did she decide to line them up.
One thing I have learned about teacher math the last few years is that students not only need to know how to solve a problem, they also need to know why. Why do you choose to solve the problem using multiplication, why not use subtraction? Another thing is how multiplication works. It helps students understand how math works, and they are more equipped to solve more difficult problems in the future.
In order for us to go beyond the numbers behind the 10% rule, we have to examine why we are called to serve. The best place to start is James chapter 1. James is a great book located towards the end of the New Testament. It is considered one of the wisdom books of the Bible. Throughout his book, James gives the church he is writing to practical advice with illustrations that help the stick. He compared the tongue to small fire that could in turn burn down an entire forest if left uncheck. Towards the end of the first chapter he has this to say about serving in the church.
James 1:22-25: But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
Apply this to service. Imagine you just go to church, listen to the sermon, leave, and return only to hear another sermon. James would say you are like somebody who looks at themselves in the mirror, and forgets what the look like the moment they turn away. This reminds of some of my fourth grade girls who constantly look at themselves in the mirror. I always ask them did they forget what they look like, and they give me this look and sit down. I try to cover up all the mirrored surfaces in my classroom, but someone these kids seem to find them. It’s a distraction to others when they constantly look at themselves in the mirror, and they are not focused on the classwork at hand.
If we are not a doer of the Word, then we are not focused on what God has called us to do. All we are is just another body in a pew with no interest in the kingdom of God. If you have an interest in the kingdom, then you need to show it. We show it by serving Him. We are all called to serve.