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 two 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 Understanding
“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen and understand.’“
Matthew 15:8-10 (NIV)
How much of what you hear do you think you really understand? What are some listening techniques that would increase your level of understanding. How does a growing relationship with a person help you to have a greater understanding of them when you listen? How much effort is required to understand those you serve? How is your serving changed when you choose to listen with understanding?
Years ago I was a team leader and cabin dad at a 5th & 6th grade camp where one of the campers I was responsible for was an incredible challenge from day one. It didn’t matter what was said by me or the camp dean, this guy was going to do his own thing no matter what. It all reached a boiling point the first night when we were out as a team doing a scavenger hunt and he couldn’t get his mind off a flashlight that was back in the cabin. He ran off from the group and I was ready to give up and go home right then. Fortunately, the camp dean sat down with me and helped me to listen with understanding as I served. It turned out to be a great week for all of us.
As you pray, ask God to help you have a greater understanding of unseen issues as you listen to those you serve.