Decades ago, when I was a young minister, an older and wiser friend in ministry took me aside and shared a possible concern he had about the future longevity of my ministry. He asked me if I knew what could potentially take me down. I quickly thought through an obvious list as he patiently listened. When I was done and feeling pretty good that I provided an exhaustive list of known sins and cleverly skimmed over my own sprinkled within them, he shook his head and said, “maybe, but you missed the big one.” He said the thing that could most dangerously trip me up and cause me to be disqualified from ministry was that it was too easy for me to look good at it; that I could pull off a pretty successful ministry in the eyes of the world on my own strength and gifts with no need to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. I could easily get accolades early on in my own strength. Obviously, he shared, if I continued like that my ministry wouldn’t last long or ultimately be meaningful to the Kingdom. Thankfully, I listened and worked to keep God out front and serve Him, not my ego. Today, ignore what impresses the world and work for the audience of One who truly knows your heart – your Creator and Sustainer God.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,” Colossians 3:23 NASB