“Servants, obey in everything those ho are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men…” Colossians 4:3
I do “ministry” full-time. I teach at a Christian school, and I help with worship at my church. I’m constantly in front of people, bearing the name of Jesus in one way or another. I’d like to think that I do it with pure motives. I’d like to think that I’m working as to the Lord, not for men. I’m going on staff at my church full time in a few weeks, and these verses really challenged me tonight. Why do I do what I do? I do it because I love Jesus, and I am so thankful for what He’s done for me. He took a mess, a complete whacked-out mess, and gave me life. He restored me. He healed me! That’s why I do it.
But the Word of God is living and active, the writer of Hebrews tells us, sharper than any two edged sword. This verse certainly cuts right to the heart of the matter: why do you do what you do? To be seen by others? To please those around you? To gain favor? To look good? It can be a quick slip from doing it for the right reasons, or the wrong ones. For me, how quickly can choosing a song because it glorifies God become choosing a song because I get good comments from people when I sing it? How quickly can the desire to serve my church slip into arrogance and pride of position.
The temptation is real. What’s the solution?
The cross of Christ.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8
That’s how you stay a God-pleaser, and not a man-pleaser. Remember Jesus. Remember the One Who will receive all glory and honor becoming nothing for you! Remember the Creator of the stars being born in a dusty stable, for you! Remember the God of all holiness becoming sin for YOU, and dying a horrible death on the cross, for you! That’s how you work as unto the Lord.
And if that doesn’t do it, if you’re still tempted to think too highly of yourself, remember: God spoke to Balaam out of a donkey’s mouth. If God is using you…