Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Well Done, or Well Known?

James MacDonald writes an excellent (and convicting) article on his blog. His article concludes:

In about 10 more minutes (or so it will seem), we are gonna be standing before Jesus Christ and the words we will be longing to hear are not “Well known,” but “Well done!” Let’s believe that others are going for that too, whether we know their names or not and let’s rejoice when we see others fruitfulness, reflect upon our own motivations for serving Christ and let’s rest in the knowledge that . . . “Promotion does not come from the east or the west, God is the judge, who sets up one and puts down another” (Psalm 75:7).

I was comforted to see that James MacDonald struggles at times with comparing ministries and feeling inadequate.

I chuckled when I realized two guys on his list of famous preachers were totally unknown to me. A good reminder that just because someone is famous in my book, doesn't mean they are to others...and vice versa.

I was convicted to see some of the names in his list. Do I give those guys the benefit of the doubt, or do I scrutinize their ministries?

I recently met with a pastor (more famous than I) who encouraged me to be a "gospel guy." Cheer on anyone who is proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ! I want to be there and must battle the torment of my soul that always weighs and evaluates things. (Questions like, "Yeah, but Paul confronted Peter, not on his doctrine, but on his practice" swirl through my head.) One problem is that I never weigh and evaluate myself to the same level I do others!

Yes, we should desire faithful ministry. A faithful pursuit of Christ in ministry is fruit created by Him, regardless of the response we may see from it. However, when I speak to another, I need to make sure my desire is to encourage them to more faithful ministry (a process I hope we do mutually) rather than trying to convince the person my ministry is the more faithful one (which is an attitude of pride).

Lord, provide me the grace to see that I fail miserably in shepherding like the Chief Shepherd does, but joy to see that I am completely incapable of any form of shepherding without your grace!

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