Matthew 25:31-46 describes the time when the Son of Man will come in his glory and judge the world. He will separate the righteous from the wicked, and to the righteous he will say, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” The righteous, confused by his statement, will ask him what he means; they did not serve him this way, they will posit. The King will respond, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Lately I have been thinking a lot about what it really means to serve the Lord. This passage has made me think differently about the way I serve others, namely at my job as a medical assistant.
I have been working in a medical office since soon after the end of the 2012-2013 school year. I was originally hired to do paperwork; I had no experience in medicine or patient care when I came on the staff. When some of the summer workers left to go back to college the medical staff became shorthanded. I was asked to be trained as a medical assistant, and I accepted. At first I felt very out of place. I had no idea what I was doing, I was awkward and uncomfortable with my new responsibilities, and I could not seem to pick up the new skills as quickly as I usually would in a different job. Honestly, I wanted to quit. This all changed, though, when I changed my perspective in light of this passage. I realized that by serving other people through my new responsibilities as a medical assistant I am serving the Lord. Jesus said, “I was sick and you visited me.” At my job I constantly interact with people who are sick. I have the precious opportunity to show them the love of Christ by meeting their basic need for medical care. I was being self-centered when I first started I was not thinking about the needs of the patients; I was only thinking about myself. Now that I have started to view serving the patients as serving God, I have been able to do my job more naturally. I am still not the best medical assistant in the world, but I am much better at it than when I first started.
I think that everyone could benefit from viewing their work in this way, especially in fields of work that involve catering to basic human needs. John Calvin writes that when one sees his work as ordained by God, there is no way for it to feel monotonous or pointless. Viewing your work in light of God’s calling makes serving others fulfilling and rewarding. After all, when we serve others, we are serving the Lord.