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 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 Reconciliation
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.“
Matthew 18:15-16 (NIV)
How often do you find yourself at odds with someone? What kinds of things tend to extend the distance between people? What things help to bridge the gap when differences have divided people? Have you ever been wronged by someone you serve with? By someone you serve? Have you ever wronged someone you serve with? Someone you serve? Have you ever resolved any of those issues? How many of them were misunderstandings that a resolution was helped along by deliberate listening?
While not always a cure for every conflict, few conflicts are ever resolved without purposeful listening. When you serve, there will always be a need for reconciliation because even in the best of circumstances, we do things that offend those we serve with and those we serve. When we listen for reconciliation, we are able to hear beyond the facts and listen to the heart of the person we need reconciled with.
As you pray, ask God to show you any situations in your life where you need to listen for reconciliation. Pray that you would not ignore the conflict, but that you would listen for the common ground that you have in Christ.