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 eleventh 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.
Patience With Everyone
“And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.“
1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 (NIV)
Are there certain people that you find it difficult to be patient with? Are there times when people are not as patient with you as you think they ought to be? What characteristics of people do you find you have the least amount of patience with? How does losing your patience with one person affect how you serve someone else? Why is having patience with everyone important to those you serve?
It is easy for most of us to let certain actions of people irritate us to the point that we have no patience with what they are doing, or with them. Unfortunately, not only is our ability to serve them well diminished as our patience decreases, the lack of patience becomes contagious and spreads to others around us who we would otherwise have great patience with. As we serve, we usually need people to have patience with us. Yet when our lack of patience infects those we are to serve, we soon discover an atmosphere where everyone has a really short fuse. As you pray, ask God to help you to have patience with everyone. Pray that you would have particular growth in your patience with those whom you have difficulty with. Pray that the way you patiently serve others would be reflected in their level of patience with you.