Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry (1:15)
There is an ugly side to Christian Ministry, and we all know it, don’t we? Corruption, power struggles, manipulative tactics, and egotism can all lead to feelings of disillusionment.
Rumour, character assassination, and malice have also destroyed lives. Have you ever become disheartened by the things done in the name of Christian Ministry?
There is an ugly side to Christian Ministry, and we all know it, don’t we?
Paul was subjected to the ugly side of the ministry. Paul was a victim of the self-ambitious motivations of those on the preaching circuit (v17). Some were proclaiming Christ, but their true intention was to harm Paul.
Can envy and rivalry drive people in the ministry? Let’s face it! People do have mixed motives. Not everyone is driven by passion or pastoral purpose.
Can envy and rivalry drive people in the ministry?
What do you do when betrayed, wounded, or worse, victimised? It is so easy to become disillusioned and quit. Paul experienced the ugliness of ministry. However, he viewed these self-ambitious endeavours as far-reaching missionary projects.
Instead of wallowing in bitterness, anger, and hatred, he rejoiced at the proclamation of Christ. He was happy that Christ was preached, whether in truth or in pretence (v18).
It is easy to get into a mudslinging fest when you spot false motives, release your pain through an outburst of rage, and spend the rest of your life grumpy. Unfortunately, even good-hearted people have fallen for it.
A senior colleague once told me, ” there is only a thin line that divides serving God and serving yourself.”
We experience anger because we are emotionally invested. But perhaps the pain and rage are also due to the angst over misplaced popularity, missed opportunities, and lost privileges.
A senior colleague once told me, ” there is only a thin line that divides serving God and serving yourself.” We must examine our hearts to determine whether we serve the cause of Christ and seek His glory in what we do.
Agreed, some individuals are motivated by self-interest, politics, and propaganda. But you can genuinely rejoice in ministry if you remain faithful to your calling. You can joyfully serve the cause of Christ regardless of false motives, pretences, and self-interests.
Paul shows us how we can be free and enjoy serving the Lord in every way.
Paul shows us how we can be free and enjoy serving the Lord in every way. Paul refused to see people, places, and things from a hurt perspective. He refused to give up the “Jesus perspective,” and as a result, he responded very differently to envy and rivalry.
There’s no denying that the ugly side of Christian ministry exists. We come across the good, bad, and ugly. There is every reason to be hurt, annoyed, and even disillusioned. But the ‘Jesus perspective’ to life can make all the difference.
God’s grace and peace are made available for us. You can stay authentic and serve the Lord joyfully and faithfully!
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretence or truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that, I rejoice – Philippians 1:18
Ready to experience your Aha Moment? 1) Why do I get hurt when I see false motives in ministry? 2) How do I guard myself from serving self-interests while serving the cause of Christ? 3) How do I cherish the 'Jesus-perspective' and apply it to all of life?