Roleplaying my motives to serve
Finding our motives to serve in D&D
Who is Varis Kang? Why does he get his teammates into near-death situations all the time?
Varis was the first D&D character I made from scratch. He's a half-elf paladin with a criminal background and is chaotically good. I wrote him what I thought would be an exciting backstory hoping that it could guide his motives. Two years on and two levels later, Varis is just as confusing and muddy to me as it is to my teammates. Why?
Varis is driven by vengeance with a deceptive dark side, yet, he is also a paladin with a code and an oath; He is tied to a greater calling and serves a greater cause. As it turns out, the dilemma I'd created within Varis is this tension between his self-centred motives and his higher calling. Why does he fight every monster he sees? Why does he align himself with a class [Paladin] that is intrinsically righteous? Why does he serve the weak?
Why do we do good, and why do we serve in the church?
I think this is an important question for every Christ-followers to reflect on. For some Christians, serving in the church can seem like a requirement and a norm; sometimes, it may feel like a burden than a joy. They do it because they think they should, and they do it because of what it makes them feel. But is this what God wants of us? Are our motives for serving chained to a set of laws and rules?
But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
As Christ-followers and a new creation1, we have been set free from the chain of sin in our hearts and mind. This freedom is not a self-centred choice to do whatever we want and how we want, but it is a freedom to live abundantly in the Spirit and in God's word. It's a freedom that aligns our hearts and minds to God's desires and His command and blessings for our lives.
Our service in the church and in our community also flows out of this freedom. We are called to serve and not just "volunteer" because, at the heart of it, our service is a response and obedience to what our Lord Jesus Christ commands us, "To love the Lord our God with all our hearts and all our minds," and, "to love our neighbours as ourselves." We serve not because we want to feel good about doing good but because God has already freed us from such self-centred motives. We serve joyfully because we already are experiencing the overflowing delight of being God's children.
So, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, how are you living out your freedom in Christ today? Are you living out of the abundant life that is in Him? If so, where are you exercising your service to God and for His kingdom? Jesus has instituted the church to be a place where we serve together as one body, and the Holy Spirit has given each of us unique giftings to add to it. Let's not waste our time standing on the sideline and take a step of faith into a ministry that God is calling you to be in. As you are in Christ, so should your motives. So serve freely, and serve faithfully.
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2 Cor. 5:17