A story is told of a man of God who was transferred to a new parish for pastoral work. It was and still is a normal thing in some denomination. The church which he was in charge off was on the other side were ‘early risers’ getting to church when the sun is in the middle. On the reporting day, having not been informed on the arrival time of the congregation, he arrived very early in the morning and after tarrying for some minutes like half an hour and only a handful had arrived decided to go away. One farmer who was informed of his coming met him and enquired why he was leaving and he explained himself. The farmer told him whether God described to him the fixed number of people he ought to minister to and the minister discerned the message and went back and ministered.
Often times approval becomes a motivation to us in some instances to continue on and on with the issues that we are engaged in. appreciation is different from approval. The society will always want to define most things if not all from the number of approvals and accreditation acquired from the public. Low returns means it wasn’t good while a high return of the accreditation is a proof enough of the issue being handled. However, the scale of measure being used is different. When it comes to Christianity, there is a standard by which we measure the task one is engaged in. the standard is Christ Jesus. If one’s scale shifts to any other thing, then the purpose of the issue being handled is not real. More often Christians are tempted to adopt the world scale and the end results ends up to be bitter pie to swallow.
King Saul at the starting had it right seeking to be approved of God until he shifted his standard to the human scale and another spirit befell him other than the spirit of God. when Samuel delayed to come and offer a sacrifice, Saul took a role that was not his and did the offering. When Samuel enquired the reason behind it, he gave the reason that the people were weary and had started to walk away.again he allowed people to come with animals from the land of Amalekites claiming that the people wanted to come and sacrifice to God. Again he tears the cloth of prophet Samuel and the follow-up statement was respect from the people. It also because of the public that he sought to kill David after the victory over Philistines when he killed Goliath. The public just uttered that Saul had killed a thousand while David had killed tens of thousands which agitated Saul too much. Any time Saul sinned and enquiry conducted, his answer was always: THE PEOPLE.
David is a man who served in the same capacity as Saul in the position of a king. He is a man who had failures too but God confessed of him as a man after His own heart. When He took Bathsheba and killed Uriah and prophet Nathan comes to him, his confession is that: ‘ “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. He was always quick to acknowledge his sins before God. Even though he was told that that which he did in secret will be made public, he minded not and went ahead to pursue God. on various accounts he acknowledges his failures unto God and seeks repentance and not unto man. No wonder psalms 51 is such a deep scripture that is spoken from the depth of the heart.
The public is not bad in giving their sentiments and comments, the disaster is on us when we use those comments to define our attitudes, attitudes, devotion, sacrifice, etc.The world or the secular world functions with the standards and type of comments that are made but the christian model of defining things is Christ Jesus. When one is a gifted praise and worshiper, intercessor, instrumentalists, preacher etc and decides that his level of output will be as a duty/routine or based on the account of what the public will say, then the whole sacrifice will be a waste. Public realm runs with fame, competition, popularity, amongst other attachments. When these are brought to the world of Christianity and to God, then the relationship is a waste. Our motive in doing that which has been placed within us should not be impressing and moving masses but serving faithfully unto the one who has called us.
God resists the proud. He has called us to a personal relationship with Him and our sacrifice to Him must be devotional not out of compelling or because it is a duty. He is more interested in you; He is very personal. Our commitment to Him should not be out of the public motivation, appreciation or comments but it must be based on a daily relationship with Him. Reputation is not what will give us eternal life but it will be given out of our trust and faith in Christ Jesus.
- 1 Samuel 13 & 15
- 2 Samuel 11 & 12
- Proverbs 6:16 – 19
- Romans 1:17