My wife and I donate alot of our time to a local organization that focuses on ministering to our community wether it be through finances, food, clothing, housing, etc. . Its especially humbling to see someone walk through the doors, who you know is used to making a six figure income, and ask for assistance. What makes it especially rewarding is when you make the effort to assist that person and, because they see a difference in the way you respond, they come back, this time, to volunteer their efforts to help others. Do you see a pattern?
Alot of times, when we are in a position of "giving a leg up", we elevate ourselves or lord it over the person who is in need of assistance thus revealing the true motivation behind our service. SELF GLORIFICATION. Ouch! Take a second and think about that. You may have, at some point, entered into a position of service with the best of intentions and, before you know it, someone walks through the door that looks or talks differently. You may not even agree with anything about them. The next thing you know, you're on a pedestal. After all, they came to you. Right? So how do we keep from being corrupted?
Colossians 3:22-24 (NAS) says "Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will recieve the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.". As Christians, we are not our own. In any culture where there is a king on the throne, no one does anything without the consent of the king for fear of death. Let the King guide your next word or deed. This requires constant prayer and devotion. Colassians 4:1-2 says "Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven. Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;....." vs 5 "Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person."
The world would be a much better place if our actions weren't motivated by our reputation but by God's love. LOVE THY NEIGHBOR.