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 five 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.
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.“
Proverbs 27:9 (NIV)
If you had an entire day free, who would you spend it with? Why? Do you have friends who you trust to give you good advice whether you seek it or not? Which is easier, to give advice when it is wanted or unwanted? What does that say about friends who give godly advice even when you don’t want to hear it? Are you more likely to give counsel that is needed and helpful or simply what the other person wants to hear? Why?
I don’t know anyone who enjoys being deceived. Or do I? Sometimes we don’t want to hear the truth so we surround ourselves with people who will tell us what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear — in other words, people who will deceive us. This creates a huge issue in a friendship because we really know they’re not honest about the issue at hand and we begin to wonder what else they’re not honest about. As we serve, it is important that we maintain pleasant friendships by having the courage to give earnest counsel.
As you pray, ask God to help you examine the counsel you usually give others. Pray that the counsel and advice you share with your friends would be both truthful and loving.