Ministry and service is a part of the Christian life. Because of this, we must have the right motives as we serve in the Church. In this post, we want to look at three motives to avoid.
Though numerous motives exist in ministry, we will examine the wrong motives of price, people, and personal gain. These wrong motives are seen readily in many believers. We will explore a few scriptural examples of men operating in wrong motives, and the consequences.
1) Price. Men have been seduced for centuries by money. Many ministers today are using scriptures to justify their greed, lust, and love of money. The scriptures say that the love of money is the root of all evil.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (I Timothy 6:10)
Never use your gift or ministry for financial gain. If you are called to preach, it has to be done without price. We receive gifts freely from God and God expects us to minister to one another freely. He offered salvation to us without price.
2) People.The praise of men can be intoxicating to the ego. It is easy to be seduced by the admiration and adulation of men. However, performing to receive the praises of men is detrimental to any ministry. Recognizing this motive in ministry can be difficult at times. It is common for people to speak of how we have blessed them, especially if our ministry to them came at a crucial moment.
And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash. Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. (I Samuel 13:11-12)
Individuals who have ministries that are on display (singing, preaching, prophesying, playing instruments, etc.) are vulnerable in particular. The praises and thanks of people can be addictive. Saul, Israel’s first king, ruined his ministry as king because of people.
3) Personal Gain. This final wrong motive is hard to detect. Personal gain is usually interpreted as money. However, personal gain is subjective to the individual. Some people use ministry as therapy for their own physical and emotional needs. There are individuals who have low self-esteem, never had many friends, never received love, and the like. Ministry to them becomes a form of establishing self-worth and identity for them. The Pharisees are examples of this type of motive in ministry.
And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. (Matthew 23:7)
The Pharisees are examples of this type of motive in ministry. They loved to make themselves seem spiritual and important so that men would look up to them and respect them. They used religious service to establish their identities and self-worth. You have to be honest and recognize if you are vulnerable in this area. It can prove to be deadly to your ministry. Self-examination is the key to maintaining pure motives in ministry. If you learn to judge your own motives through the Word of God and by the Spirit, the flesh will not overtake you in this area.
Well, there you have it. Continue in the Faith, for Christ is faithful.