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 one in the tenth 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.
Listen For Truth
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.“
Ephesians 4:14-16 (NIV)
How much of what you hear on a daily basis do you believe is true? How would you know? Of the things that you don’t believe to be true, is there often an element of truth in them? Have you ever agreed to do something that sounded much different when explained than what it actually turned out to be? How often do you exaggerate, or minimize, the truth when you are trying to get people to see things your way? How does a person’s tendency to do that make it so important to really listen for truth when serving?
Most of us rarely put a lot of effort into listening, so we only hear what we want to hear. We even go so far as to define the words we do hear according to how we want them to sound. We are too often satisfied with the, “’How are you doing?’ ‘Fine’ ‘Have a good day’” exchange that fills our interactions with people. When serving, it is important to listen beyond the words that are spoken, or not spoken, and hear what the heart and soul are saying.
As you pray, ask God to help you be one who is quick to listen. As you listen to those you serve, ask God to help you hear the truth in what is being said and in what is being left out.