|The Apostle Paul|
Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. (2 Corinthians 5:12 NLT).
The Apostle Paul had many critics in his day, both inside and outside the Church. From his statement above, we can ascertain that it is possible to have a spectacular ministry without a sincere heart.
By the sheer power of personality, it possible to do significant things, even while using the name of Christ. When the Bible speaks of a sincere heart, it is not just about right actions, but about right motives. To glorify Christ always has to be our chief motivation. What is an indicator that our motivation may be flawed? It’s when we have to build ourselves up and tear others down, such as Paul’s detractors were doing. We start doing things that will impress man rather than God. Impressive things, as the world sees them, based on a selfish motive are destined to fall. What is a sincere heart? It’s one that seeks first to glorify God and not ourselves. Paul’s answer to his critics was that they were trying to have prominent ministries without Christ being foremost in their hearts. They were doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons.
Remember, it not the height or even the breadth of your ministry, but the depth of your love for Christ that motivates you, that impresses God. It is not possible to be a man pleaser and a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10 NLT). There is nothing wrong with you having a spectacular ministry, as long as a sincere heart accompanies it.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing