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 three in the fifth 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.
Excellence In Speech
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.“
1 Peter 3:9-11 (NIV)
How difficult is it to guard your words? Does that answer change based on how you are sharing your words? Do you find it easy to share something on social media that you would never say out loud? Does your mouth seem to have an automatic response that says things you later regret? How often do your words get you in trouble or come back to haunt you?
James tells us that “everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” Sometimes when serving others we allow familiarity to spill out of our mouth in words that are not helpful or loving. Particularly in today’s culture, our speech is much more than the words we speak, we must take care to be excellent in every manner of using words. We serve best when we pay attention to our words and are known as one who is excellent in speech.
As you pray, ask God to help you examine every form of the words you use. Pray that you would be careful to use excellent words which build up the listener according to their needs. Pray that you would be a good listener, both to God and others, as you learn to speak with excellence.