“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven” (Matt 6:1).
Ummm… I read something yesterday, that reminded me of these words of Jesus. And it was like the Lord was saying, “Ufuoma, I am talking to you“. I was pricked in the conscience, because I knew that, somewhere, somehow, someway, I wanted to be seen! Ufuoma was alive in me, who I thought was crucified, and she had an agenda.
In the world, it is those who are seen that succeed. Those who put themselves out there. Those who are popular that are heard, appreciated, remembered, followed, glorified, revered… If you want to get your message out there, you’ve got to get your name out there… Oh, so it seems…
It’s a bit of a paradox really. As a Blogger or Writer, you want to be read and appreciated. You want men to hear you…your unique voice and contribution. Maybe they will say “wow!”, maybe they will quote you…maybe they will validate you! The only validation we should want is that men will see us and say, “I see God in you” and glorify our Father in Heaven (Matt 5:16). But that will never happen, if we keep trying to get them to see US!
As a Christian Minister, with a message from God, you need men to hear GOD and see Him and not you…always! Jesus’ saying is true, “no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other…” (Matt 6:24). If it’s about you growing as a Blogger, it stops being about God and His message…and one loses at the expense of the other. Like John the Baptist is recorded to have said: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
We must never take steps to elevate ourselves! It is God who exalts, and God who humbles. And if we will not humble ourselves, we will be humbled by God (Luke 14:11). Every disciple the world recognises is remembered for their humility and not their popularity. But perhaps the greatest disciple will not be the ones honoured by the world as Saints. Perhaps they will be the unseen, who served without any acknowledgement, recognition and/or praise.
It can be hard to know when you are crossing the line from being diligent in your ministry, to being self-seeking. In the process of ministry, you will be very much involved. God will use you as mightily as He deems fit, or as sparsely as you allow Him, but in all of it, your own self-will and ambition must die DAILY, so that He can fully be revealed in you…
You can know it has become about you when:
- You get offended by how people respond to the message;
- Your happiness is tied to the praise and recognition you receive from men;
- You get discouraged and want to give up;
- You’re angry at people who use or copy your work without due recognition;
- You are envious of others who appear to be getting more attention;
- You worry about the increase, worry about your sustenance, worry about your life;
- The grace and love of God doesn’t emanate in your life.
If you are struggling with this too, make this your confession today and everyday: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20).
You may not be a Blogger. Maybe you are a servant at the Church, and it seems no one appreciates all that you do. Maybe it is the lack of recognition at your place of work. Maybe it is in your own home, and your spouse or children or parents take all your sacrifices for granted. Maybe you have been taught a wrong Gospel, that God wants to prosper you in this world, and you think His ‘Kingdom coming to Earth as it is in Heaven’ is all about you achieving all your goals and dreams… Don’t get it twisted, and don’t get carried away. It’s not about you!
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31).
Whatever good you do, give God the glory. Let Him take the glory. You have no need or use for it. If you keep it, it will consume and corrupt you. Give it to God, because He has given you all you need and will ever need…Him.
God bless you.
Photo credit: http://www.frederickboulevard.org
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