It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others. There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others. Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season. I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.
This is day four in the first week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”. This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others. Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.
Serve By Rebuking and Repenting
“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.“
Luke 17:3-4 (NIV)
Have you ever been wrong? How does it feel when someone points out an area of incorrect belief or action in your life? Why? How can rebuking someone be seen as serving them? Are there ways to rebuke, or be rebuked, that would not be serving? What should the goal of pointing out the faults of another be? What should your response be when your faults are revealed? Is repentance more than being sorry? What do you think repentance should look like when you need to repent? When others need to repent?
We all know of times when rebuking, or pointing out the sin of another, did not lead to good results. There are times when those closest to us think they are doing us a favor by not mentioning sin that has become obvious in our life. If we want to serve others in a way that benefits them, we must learn the godly versions of both rebuking and repenting. God’s desire in rebuking is that it would lead to repentance — a change of mind that aligns our direction with His. As you pray, ask God to fill you with His love to direct the rebuking and repentance that you need to do. Pray for the wisdom and grace to rebuke others in love and to repent when you are rebuked.