Thursday, April 19, 2007

Humility in Ministry, Part 1

Sin is sin. Blatant immoral sin certainly leaves behind a mess; simply look at the many prominent Christian ministers who have shipwrecked on the rock of sexual sins. Yet, many other sins are just as heinous, which have found acceptability within many ministries. Pride, for instance, is often tolerated if the minister is good enough. Pride comes in many forms. Some forms we all readily recognize as blatant arrogance. Are there more subtle kinds of pride? The following quote is from Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline, 110, 114, as quoted in Donald Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Navpress, 122).
Self-righteous service requires external rewards. It needs to know that people see and appreciate the effort. It seeks human applause—with proper religious modesty, of course….Self-righteous service is highly concerned about results. It eagerly wants to see if the person served will reciprocate in kind….The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition. It will devise subtle, religiously acceptable means to call attention to the service rendered.
Our battle, then, is on multiple fronts. I pray we all fight against the visible, outward, immoral sins, and the hidden, inward, immoral sins.

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