The Desire for Greater Recognition

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A Nugget from New Life Network

(by Dr. Larry Ollison)

Scripture for the Day – June 16, 2020

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)

Many churches find themselves in a constant struggle with people seeking a position, or other forms of recognition, out of a wrong motive. Some church members actually feel that because they have been at the church from the beginning, they deserve more than a newcomer. What privileges do they feel they deserve? Some want a prominent seat, while others want a position as elder or deacon.

Again, the attitude that exalts one person above another is rooted in nothing more than pride and fear. Some become fearful that another person is going to take their place, and they won’t be considered important anymore. They haven’t realized that there are enough seats at God’s table for everyone. No one has to be kicked out of their seat in order to make room at God’s banquet table.

I have been around ministers who introduce themselves as “Pastor.” Even their wives refer to them as “Pastor,” as though it were their first name. But, how would it look to a pastor if a prophet of God introduced himself as “Prophet?” What about an evangelist? Everyone would think that sounded pretty ridiculous, wouldn’t they?

There is no need to insist upon being addressed by a particular title. Insisting that others use a title when speaking to you only serves to make you look more important in your own eyes. In fact, many times the need to flaunt your position is characteristic of insecurity.

Why do you suppose a minister really wants to know how many people are in my church? Only my close friends are really interested in how my church is doing. There is usually only one reason a minister asks how many people are attending my church – so he can categorize me. If I say that we have 500 people, then he knows how to judge me in comparison to himself. If he has 200 people, then he judges me better then himself. However, if he has 1,000 people, then he judges me as less. This is exactly what Paul warned about! Comparing yourselves among each other is dangerous business (2 Corinthians 10:12).

Let’s look at another common situation in church in which comparison takes place. Suppose there is a man who lived his entire life drinking and selling drugs. Then, as an elderly man, he gets saved and his entire life turns around. I could compare myself to him by complaining, “It’s not fair that I have lived a good Christian life from my youth, but the guy who accepted the Lord late in life gets the same reward. Until a few days ago, he lived a disgraceful existence; he shouldn’t get the same reward that I get.”

A person who thinks like this doesn’t realize that when you step over into eternal life, salvation is equal with everyone. In other words, the person who was saved for 60 years will receive the exact same salvation as the person who was saved on their deathbed. Both accepted the sacrifice of Jesus. Now they are both forgiven and righteous in God’s eyes.

Although it may not seem fair by man’s standards, according to God’s standard, it is just. God is not required to be fair in the way man judges fairness. He is, however, just! Psalm 97:2 says, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.” God has decided to be generous to anyone who gives their life over to Him, even if they do so with their last breath.

Remember the parable in which the landowner paid one laborer a denarius to work all day and he paid another laborer one denarius for working part time. Because they both received what they had agreed upon, it is considered just in God’s sight.

The person who still says this is unfair is thinking like a carnal man. Jesus rebuked Peter for thinking that way. He said, “You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:23)

 

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