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 seventh 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.
“A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.“
Proverbs 12:26 (NIV)
How much influence do your friends have on you? How much do you influence them? Have you ever been hurt by someone claiming to be your friend? Have you ever hurt someone who claimed you as a friend? Do you consider friendship to be something that is given or earned? Why? What are some dangers of not being careful in friendships as you serve? Is it possible to be too careful? Why? How will careful friendships improve your serving today?
The people we associate with most closely often have the ability to influence us for good or bad, depending on their character and ours. We also are able to influence others for good or bad through our friendships with them. As we serve, it is important that we develop careful friendships where we build one another up for God’s glory. Some of those we serve need a friend that will listen to them, some need a friend that will tell them God’s truth, most need both.
As you pray, ask God to guard your friendships. Pray that you would be careful with the direction your friendships lead you and your friends. Pray that you would be careful in the way you use the influence of your friendships with those you serve.