—ADDICTED TO SERVICE
by Cody Westbrook
An addict is someone who devotes himself to something habitually or obsessively (Webster). There are many different types of addicts—some good and some bad. There are drug addicts, food addicts, speed addicts, adrenaline addicts, movie addicts, television addicts, computer addicts, and many, many more. But one particular type of addict that you probably have never heard of is a service addict. Service is a helpful act that contributes to the needs of others (Webster). Therefore, a service addict is someone who is habitually and obsessively devoted to contributing to the needs of other people. Service addiction is something that every Christian should have.
In 1 Corinthians 16:15 the apostle Paul gave one of the best compliments that anyone could ever hope to receive—“…ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.” The people of the house of Stephanas were the first in Achaia to be converted to Christ. After their conversion they became addicted to the ministry (or service) of the saints, and the church blossomed. There is no way to know on this side of eternity what all they did or how much fruit was born by their hard work. But we do know that Paul thought highly of them.
Epaphroditus was another who was addicted to service. Many believe that this man was the “located preacher” for the church in Philippi. Though we do not know for sure who he was, we do know that he was sent by the church to serve with Paul (Philippians 2:25). Epaphroditus was a man who almost literally worked himself to death. He became ill. So ill—in fact that Paul said “…indeed he was sick nigh unto death” (Philippians 2:27). Most people would have “thrown in the towel” and gone home after becoming that sick, but not Epaphroditus. He was so concerned with serving the saints that he grieved when he heard that the brethren in Philippi were worried about him (Philippians 2:26).
God needs more servants like Epaphroditus and those in the house of Stephanas. Jesus taught His disciples a lesson in service by washing their feet in John 13 when he said, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15). This is why Christians are to serve one another with love (Galatians 5:13). In a very real sense, service is what defines Christianity. Christ Himself came to serve (Mark 10:45). As His followers, we should diligently serve Him and His sheep.
Are you addicted to service? Do you habitually and obsessively strive to do good things for the benefit of others? Paul said, “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more” (1 Corinthians 9:19). There is no greater life than the one spent in service to Christ. Will you begin that life today and become “addicted to the ministry of the saints?”