Sometimes I have to Check My Heart
"For they loved human praise more than praise from God." - John 12:43
I had to check my heart just now. It's the whole reason I was just reading the Bible. It's the reason I stumbled upon the above verse.
God is opening up doors for me to do minor work in ministry through writing and sharing my testimony and it is thrilling to my soul.
One of my key verses throughout my struggles has been:
"He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." - 2 Corinthians 1:4
There is nothing I desire more than to proclaim what God has done and share with others so that they will find great hope in Him in their own struggles.
But opportunities to be a guest writer on a couple websites and an increase in followers on Instagram and suddenly I am dreaming and scheming of BIG ministry. You know...ministry that includes popularity, speaking engagements for large crowds, and book deals with a well-known Christian publisher. I spent too much time today refreshing my blog feed to see how many people had read my most recent post. (Sidenote: Judging by the small number of blog views and the increasing piles of dirty laundry that yours truly needs to wash, God plans to keep me very humble for a very long time.) Then, I started reading other people's blogs and looking at how many followers they had on Instagram and before I knew it, I felt two things: Envy and Discouragement.
Envy over those who are doing "better" than me. Whose reach is broader than mine. Who write devotions for websites I can only dream about doing the same for.
Discouragement because I'm not further along in ministry. I'm just a "newbie" at sharing my testimony and journey. I have way less followers than some of my friends who aren't even doing ministry and that just doesn't seem "fair."
So, yes, "For they loved human praise more than praise from God." - John 12:43 stopped me in my tracks. I had to stop and repent for making His ministry - even just briefly in my mind - about how many I could impress instead of how many God can bless. This life is not about who knows me or remembers my name, it's about sharing His great name with others.
I will probably never reach the "big time" and I am ok with that. As long as I live this life loving the Lord with "all my heart ,soul, mind and strength" and loving those He created (Mark 12:30-31) fiercely, I will consider this life one well-lived.
No matter where you may find yourself in ministry or in life's journey, I pray that you, too, will be encouraged to just chase after Jesus. He will lead you to the exact people He wants you to minister to and give you opportunities that will bring glory to Him alone.