I believe the “show business” and “world market strategy” which is so incorporated into so much Christian work today is causing the church to drift from the concept of our Lord concerning Christian servanthood. Remember with me the Lord’s words to his disciples, “But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, you know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you, let him be your minister (servant); even as the son of man (Jesus) came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many,” (Matthew 20:25-27).
It seems to be instilled in us that we have to do something large and amazing as a sign, as an example of courage and sacrifice at which everyone around us will stare with open praise and say “what a wonderful man or woman!” You do not need God’s power or grace for that. Human nature and human pride will take us a long way and appear as something big in offering ourselves for Christian service. “My what a man,” the world will say. That which appeals to the flesh requires no grace.
But it needs all the grace of God to go through the day-to-day drudgery, the sacrifice of poverty, to live an ignored existence as a saint of God, unnoticed by most of the world. Remember the Lord has sent us out to be exceptional in the ordinary things, sometimes among difficult people, and often harsh surroundings. Only the man or woman sent by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords could take that, and only with a true heart and call will ever accept it.
Look up the hymn by Margaret Clarkson based on John 20:21: “So Send I You.”
“So send I you to labor unrewarded
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing
So send I you, to toil for me alone
As the Father has sent me, so send I you.”
Have you been sent to work that you are doing for God today? Then only look for His glory and His praise — not the praise of the world. Your glory is in heaven with Him.
Dr. David Bouler can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.