Wow, what a foolish thing! The last thing I need is to justify my work by showing others how well I think I’m doing it!
Have you ever thought that one of the things God’s word does better than anything is its ability to hold up our motives and put them on public display. All the Lord has to do is say, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves ; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others,” (Philippians 2:3-4 NASB).
Paul defines selfishness and empty conceit as the way I’m conducting myself when I try to show others what a great preacher I am. Not only has he defined my shortcoming, but he has shown how he wants me to improve. It isn’t necessary for people to get the headlines of my success. It is more important for me “to regard another as more important.”
Shouldn’t it be enough for me to glorify God, who already knows about my successes and failures? He’s the one for whom these labors are made. We are obeying his commands.
Besides, my reason for doing this job is not so I can become the one everybody wants to turn to and glorify. The reason is so that people will hear the gospel so that the power of God will save them. If I preach the truth, then I’ve done what God wants (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 1:17, 18).
Thank you, Lord God, for your word that cuts through our pretense and lays our motives bare before your eyes.