In the late 1800s, a large group of European pastors came to D. L. Moody’s Northfield Bible Conference in Massachusetts. Following the European custom of the time, each guest put his shoes outside his hotel room to be cleaned by the hall servants overnight. But of course this was America, and there were no hall servants.

Dwight L. Moody (Credit: Moody Bible Institute)
Walking the dormitory halls that night, Moody saw the shoes and determined not to embarrass his brothers. He mentioned the need to some ministerial students who were there, but was met only with silence or pious excuses. Moody returned to the dorm, gathered up the shoes, and, alone in his room, the world’s most famous evangelist began to clean and polish the shoes. Only the unexpected arrival of a friend in the midst of his work revealed the secret.

When the foreign visitors opened their doors the next morning, their shoes were shined. They never knew by whom. Moody told no one, but his friend told a few people, and during the rest of the conference, different men volunteered to shine the shoes in secret. Perhaps the episode is a vital insight into why God used D. L. Moody as he did. Moody was a man with a servant’s heart, and that was the basis of his true greatness.

Galatians 5:13 sets forth a simple but profound directive: “Serve one another.” Here’s the complete verse: “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” Notice that the primary focus of this verse, and indeed the entire chapter, is on freedom. The first verse of chapter five reads, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”

Friends, let me humbly suggest three practical ways to serve others:
1. Be attentive to the needs of others. When we Serve One Another, it’s not about us; it’s about others – their needs, desires, and preferences.
2. Be willing to perform menial, mundane tasks. When we have a deep desire to serve others, we will even delight in doing menial and mundane tasks – routine and commonplace jobs that would normally be outside our scope of interest and responsibility. We’ll be willing to house-sit, run errands, wash dishes, do yard work, or move furniture, simply because we want to serve and help others.
3. Serve others cheerfully. We are often reluctant to serve others, but the Bible speaks of being eager to serve (1 Peter 5:2), serving wholeheartedly (Ephesians 6:7), and serving with gladness (Psalm 100:2 NASB). 

Written by Don McMinn, Ph.D. ( — April 18, 2013

Visit us on Facebook Visit us on Blogspot
Love One Another - Don McMinn BookShout