Written by Holly Madden, Director of Chapter Development.
Connect with Holly through Facebook or Twitter.

Throughout high school and college, I worked as a server at a restaurant downtown. Fridays wer14854_galleryticker_fulle always my favorite shifts because everyone was almost always out with the intention to have a good time; date night, family dinners, co-worker get togethers or a night on the town with friends. Dressed up and laid back, it was always an honor to give people a break from the mundane tasks of cooking, setting the table and cleaning up. But, as soon as the table would leave, I would eagerly look at the discarded credit receipt and server book, anticipating nothing short of an excellent tip.

It was in the restaurant that I learned that service is a privilege, not a chore. I also learned that our human instinct is to assume that with service comes reward.

Our expectations are often the catalyst for our greatest disappointments. Raised in a society that promotes self achievement by promising rewards of money, stable careers, gold star stickers, and free food in the form of gift cards, we have been taught to expect that our good deeds will be rewarded.

imagesIn our most genuine service, rarely do we expect to be repaid or given something in return, but gratitude is  just as much a reward as anything else. And when gratitude is not given, it becomes the excuse that stunts our impact and our desire to continue to serve in the future.

Jesus understood our struggle to want to be thanked and acknowledged in our sacrifices. He challenged His disciples that “even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 NLT). Jesus came to save, not to receive our thanks.

If Jesus’ sacrifice was only given to those that showed continuous gratitude, would you be among the saved?

In that same way, our service needs to be free from the expectation that our sacrifice will be acknowledged and appreciated. It is only in that relinquishing of our human expectations that we can learn to appreciate the genuine joy of giving without expecting anything in return.
This month, our LeadHer Local Chapters are each choosing a day in March to serve their communities. In an event called Spring Break Serve, women are being encouraged to use their leadership and influence to serve those around them. Follow LeadHer on Facebook to keep up to date with the Spring Break Serve projects. Visit our website to start or join a LeadHer chapter in your community!