We cannot long stomach those who by all appearances are peddling Jesus for their own purposes. I certainly can’t. It’s hard to swallow the word of God mixed with ego. Or to learn from one who talks Jesus but lives nothing like him in obscurity or when away from the limelight (and sees no problem with it).
Unbelievers can readily spot those of us that succumb to our ego-filled gospels which are not really gospel. Why can’t we?
Concerning our appetites for renown Andy Stanley says: “One thing about an appetite is that if you feed it, it grows and it is never fully satisfied.”
God has entrusted me with delivering his Word through the spoken and written word. But, I’ve held back. I’ve held back because I fear becoming the kind of person who uses God for my own means. I fear becoming an ego-maniac who peddles God for the sake of my own renown.
I fear becoming the kind of person who uses others to get ahead – for selfish means and ambition.
I fear a gradual growth in self-absorption instead of growth in grace.
I fear a growth in greed.
I’ve been using the word ‘fear’ a lot. I so fear becoming the wrong kind of person and harming others in self-aggrandizing ministry that I am not being the right sort of person. I’ve held back. Consequently, I have not been a good steward.
So after a retreat this weekend I’ve resolved to stop fearing. I will move forward in the belief that God and my community of Jesus friends will check me if I transgress through self-aggrandizement or other godless behavior. While self-aggrandizing ministry is vomit-inducing, God telling me that I’ve buried my talents by refusing to speak or act is equally vomit-inducing.
Burying our talents is not only perilous for our own souls but perilous for the kingdom.