CULTURE OF SERVANTHOOD
You know those scrappy cats from the animal shelter who haven’t been shown enough love and affection before? The ones who are feisty and suspicious when you first meet them? Chances are they’ve never experienced tenderness and warmth from a human being. They’ve never been cared for, so they don’t know how to show love. Once someone takes them in and cares for them, you might notice how they soften over time.
It’s difficult to love someone when you’ve never really felt loved yourself. In the same way, it’s difficult to give grace to someone when you don’t receive grace extended to you, or to encourage someone else when you don’t hear words of encouragement spoken over your own life. For a long time, I felt a lack in these areas. It was challenging for me to serve because my motivation didn’t come from a desire to love others the way I’d been loved, but instead came from a compulsion to do whatever I felt I was supposed to do.
I'm the type of person who will show up and do the right thing. Growing up, serving often looked like that to me. It was something I did because I thought it was the right thing to do, not because I was eager to give. After years of serving from that place, there was a deficit, and I ended up burned out in every area of my life. So when I started attending C3 NYC a few years ago, I avoided joining team for quite a while. I didn’t have the energy to serve because the way I had served up until that point had been taxing.
Over the last couple of years, God has pursued me so faithfully and has demonstrated His love, grace, and desire for me in countless ways. As I’ve encountered His goodness in my life, it’s filled me to the point of overflowing. When I started to recognize how blessed I was by Him, it inspired me to bless others. I began feeling the desire to show up for people the way God’s shown up for me. When my desire to bless others increased, so did my desire to serve. It goes hand in hand because serving is blessing others.
Spending time with the Lord and experiencing the way He loves and gives Himself to me provides me with the fervor to give of myself to the people I encounter daily. My perspective on serving changed when I realized what blessing others could look like, and my C3 NYC community has wonderfully modeled genuine service from a place of joy, with a heart to honor and support others while making sure everyone is seen and valued. It’s transformed the way I serve in every area of my life. After I was able to fully receive the love and grace offered to me, a longing developed inside my own heart to convey that same love to others in whatever ways I can.
— ERIANA BURDAN