Just the other day I asked the question – why do I do what I do? I loved the responses – both public and private. It’s a question I continue to ponder and pray over.
Today I’m considering this calling to ministry. And then I get caught up in the comparison trap. My mind goes to the person I envision is living in the midst of God’s call on her life – and I begin to compare myself to her or him. I’ll never know THAT much scripture. I am just not that educated. I CAN’T communicate like her. I’ll NEVER write that many bible studies. AND so on.
I go from comparing to defeated in under 3.2 seconds – it’s an amazing gift.
But all the ‘stuff" I’m comparing is not about ministry, it’s about how people see me. And that’s not ministry.
Ministry is what God is calling me to, it’s not how many people it impacts, it’s about Him. …. let’s all pause right here for a moment. Ministry is about God’s calling not the results of that calling. It’s about His call on my life, not the number of books I sell, the size of the crowds I speak to, or my popularity.
But I WANT to sell LOTS of books, speak to HUGE crowds and be popular. Yes, I do! (Just being real here). But I also know this is not ministry – it’s just me. So, I go back to why do I do what I do – and then I realize that it’s really just about One and one.
I do what I do for the One and Only with a heart to reach just one for Him. Sure, I want huge crowds, lots of people, and tons of facebook friends & twitter followers, but I can’t do this for crowds, friends or followers. I can try, but I will fail.
I do this because I know He has called me to reach out to that one girl (from 13 to 103) who needs to hear a word of encouragement. I do it for the one who searching for something more than just church or a weekly Bible study group. I do it for the one who strives to fill her life with something more than the ordinary.
I do want to reach her – but I would be lying if I didn’t say this:
it’s hard when only a handful show up when you are speaking
it’s hard when only a few come to your event
it hurts when you’re not the one picked.
There I said it. I started to NOT say it. I had this really pretty, tied-neatly-with-a-bow ending about doing it for the ONE and the one. It was good, trust me, but it wasn’t me – it was what I thought sounded really good – ministry good. I deleted it all. Now, let’s get to the real stuff.
I love this calling and I stand in awe of the Lord who called me (of ALL people) to this ministry. I want to do it well and I know that means walking in His will. But I struggle with wanting to do well in the eyes of my peers.
This is the real me – I want people to like me. But I also know this ministry isn’t about being liked, it’s about being real – and some people will like me and others will not. Sometimes people will show up and other times, it'll be just one. And that has to be okay – it just does. It has to be about Him because if it’s not about Him then it is all about me. And that thought terrifies me.
What about you – do you struggle with making it all about Jesus?
And how do you keep it about just Him?
I smell what you are walking in cuz I’m walking in it too.
I know where you are coming from.
I feel the same way.
You are in good company, my friend.
How do I keep it just about Him? I pray like mad that He would hide me behind the cross so that all the world sees is Jesus. I also am painfully aware that pride is a constant visitor in my heart. Finally, I remember how terribly I have fallen when I have made it all about me. THAT is a huge motivator for me to keep it about Jesus and only Jesus.
Again you have my mind spinning and I am thankful for that you do me good you make me think and ponder about my own life and how I want my life to be about Jesus and all about Him, I am not in ministry by any means but people still look at my life espically family and I tell you they are the worst judges espically in my life if I am not walking around with a smile on my face the first thing out of there mouth are you mad, but anyway I think I got off track here. I have made plenty of big mistakes in my life and I am sure people still judge me for that but I am saved by the grace of God and if only one person comes to know the Lord by me speaking to them by my testimony that is awesome but I do not want them to see me I want them to see Jesus. I am with the other person that commented here pray like mad that He would hide me behind the cross so that the world see Jesus. Just like I did something today and I had to call that person back and admit my mistake and then the big ugly cry comes out I don’t like that but now they will now where I am coming from and that I am changed. Thanks Mary and I do not just like you I love you and pray that God would do some mighty work in your life and keep showing you the way and keep you joyful.
Mary, Mary, how God speaks through you my sister. I think anyone in any sort of ministry struggles with this. Sometimes I feel the old pride thing when I see sisters like you and others who are able to go outside the walls of their church and speak.
But, it’s not about me, is it? It is all about Him. Right now, I am to speak in my little Sunday School class and Wednesday Bible study. Those 20 women that I can reach out and touch. Am I being accountable with them? Am I being transparent and showing them how to walk in grace.
God may never pull me out and let me speak outside my church, my thing is to serve Him where HE wants me to be. How can I do that and not fill my head with what ifs? By keeping my focus on Him. He is the One I seek, He is the One who has the plan. It is what is best for me. All I have to do is keep my eyes on Him (oh, I hear a hymn coming…)
Thank you so much for your transparency,