Improve Your Life By Serving Others

Recently my husband and I were able to participate in a service project with our fellow church members. The project involved filling up 250 5 gallon buckets with various cleaning supplies and tools that will be donated to people in need if there is a hurricane or flood. The church buys the supplies and then they are given away at appropriate times. This was my first time helping fill the buckets and it was so much fun! My husband had a good time also. His job was to hammer down the lids.

Photo by cottonbro studio on

In the past we have helped with other volunteer activities and we always come home feeling like we were the ones who were blessed. And yet we don’t do this often enough. Though my sons did help with scouts and church, I regret not making service activities a much bigger part of their regular lives when they were growing up. But like many families, we thought we were too busy to sign up for extra stuff to do in our already busy schedules. We were wrong! Serving should have been at the top of our priorities. In fact, I think a lack of serving by children can lead to self-centeredness and missing out on growth opportunities. As parents who were trying hard to raise good kids, we didn’t realize that our sons were the ones missing out. So I thought I would write a little post about the benefits of serving.

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

While the quote ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ comes from the Bible, it is  part of a universal law that says that we should treat others the way we would like to be treated. This is also called ‘the golden rule’ and when followed, the whole world is a better place. One way to love others as yourself is to serve in your community. If you are ever the one in need, you will be glad that others are willing to help. Although you may see serving as something that you do for other people, serving others can actually have a positive impact on your own life. Here are some of the personal benefits that can arise when you serve others without expecting something in return:

  • Increased happiness and well-being. Studies have shown that people who serve others are happier and healthier than those who don’t. Serving others can help reduce stress, improve your mood, and boost your self-esteem.
  • Stronger relationships. When you serve others, you get to connect with people from all walks of life. This can help you build stronger relationships and create a more supportive community.
  • A sense of purpose. When you serve others, you feel like you’re making a difference in the world. This can provide a sense of purpose and meaning in life which is hard to find sometimes.
  • New skills and knowledge. Serving others can help you learn new skills and gain new knowledge in a low-pressure setting. This can be helpful in your personal and professional life.
  • A more positive outlook on life. When you focus on helping others, it’s easy to forget about your own problems. This can help you develop a more positive outlook on life.
  • Serving can broaden your worldview, make you more compassionate, and introduce you to new ways of thinking about life’s complex issues. Talking to people from different walks of life can help you shed biases and improve your ability to empathize with others.
  • Fun! Many service activities involve enjoyable activities such as festivals, markets, fairs, music, children’s events, food, and outdoor games and races. 

If you’re looking for a way to improve your life, consider serving others, either individually or through joining a service organization. You have something to offer. There is a need for every personality, interest, and age group. 

Here are some ideas for how you can serve others:

  • Volunteer your time at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
  • Serve in your church in the various ministries.
  • Help in the local school, scouts, or after school program.
  • Donate to a charity that you care about.
  • Sign up with an organization such as Meals on Wheels 
  • Volunteer at the local library. 
  • Mentor a child or young adult.
  • Be a blood donor.
  • Help out a neighbor or friend in need.
  • Smile at strangers and say hello.
  • Hold the door open for someone.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line.
  • Give up your seat on the bus or train.
  • Compliment someone on their appearance or something they’ve done.
  • Write a thank-you note to someone who has done something nice for you.
  • Just be kind to others.

I understand there are reasons that people may think they can’t or don’t want to serve. For example, people are often busy with work, school, and family commitments. It can be difficult to find time to volunteer . Some people may feel like they don’t have anything to offer. They may feel like they’re not smart enough, talented enough, or experienced enough to help others. Some people may be afraid of being rejected or judged by others. They may be afraid of putting themselves out there and not being accepted.

But I encourage you to give yourself a chance because 1)people need you and 2)it’s good for YOU! And the good news is that volunteers are usually very accepting, friendly, and kind people!

It’s important to remember that everyone has something to offer. No matter what your skills or abilities, you can make a difference in the world. There are many ways to serve others, even if you don’t have a lot of time or money.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start small. Look for opportunities to serve that fit your schedule and interests.

Here are some tips for overcoming the barriers to serving others:

  • Find a cause that you’re passionate about. When you’re passionate about something, it’s easier to find the time and energy to get involved.
  • Look for opportunities that fit your schedule and budget. There are many ways to serve others, even if you don’t have a lot of time or money.
  • Start small. Don’t try to do too much too soon. Start with small acts of kindness and gradually increase your involvement.
  • Find a buddy. Serving with a friend or family member can make it more fun and rewarding.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re struggling to find a way to serve, ask friends, family, or co-workers for suggestions.

Still not sure? Ask someone you know if they volunteer and join them. You might be surprised what your friends are doing! And it’s okay to start small. Even small acts of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life. So make it a goal to look for opportunities to serve others today!



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