Eager to Serve


To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

I Peter 5:1-4

Toward the end of Peter’s first letter to the scattered churches, he offers some instructions to the “elders among you.”

But I think his specific advice to the elders applies to all of us in a more general sense. And I think it’s important to think about.

He says this, “be shepherds… not because you must, but because you are willing as God wants you to be… and eager to serve.”

Essentially, Peter tells his readers, “Don’t follow God’s design for your life because you have to, do it because you want to!”

Anyone who has ever been in a relationship (parent, spouse, friend, boss) knows the difference between someone doing what they’re supposed to do because they feel they have to vs. those who do it because they want to.

We should serve and follow God because that’s what we want to do.

But the next obvious question for us becomes, “How?”

How do we get to this point? How do we get to the point that the design and commands of God on our lives are something we want to do and are eager to follow?

Well, I think this plays out differently in different seasons of life—and also plays out differently based on the specific command from God to us.

But I do know that recounting God’s goodness to us, falling in love with Him through prayer, and remembering His power as the Creator of life are all good places to start.

In what areas of your life do you need to move from following God because you must, to following Him because you are eager to do so?

What steps can you take personally to get there? And when can you start?


Heavenly Father, keep my heart and mind focused on you. Give me an eagerness to serve and follow you. If there are areas of life I need to turn over, reveal them to me. And help me know how to best fall in love with you and your desires for me. Amen.