The buzz surrounding ministry has been spreading around the blogosphere over the last week or two due to items in the news and the full lives of the people involved in ministering to others. Several of the articles I have read have been an encouragement to me. This has caused me to reflect on my own journey in the ministry where God has called me to serve.
When my husband and I began our ministry, I was what you could consider a “newbie”. I didn’t know anything about what it meant to be the wife of a minister let alone carry out what I thought would be expected of me. I wanted to please everyone all the time, yet I didn’t realize at the time how unrealistic that really is. Did I tell you I didn’t know anything? I really didn’t. Because of my drive to please others, I found that the more I tried to please others the more people became critical and “not pleased” with my actions. I found myself in a very frustrating place.
I was a stressed out woman with perfectionist tendencies that was wondering what to do next. I was trying to be the “perfect” minister’s wife and I was failing miserably. Didn’t God call us to be perfect? I didn’t realize at the time that we can only be made perfect in Christ. It is only in and through his righteousness. My husband shared a quote in one of our church services that I needed. “If you please God it doesn’t matter who you displease, but if you displease God it doesn’t matter who you please.” My focus was misguided and I needed to get it back on track. First and foremost, I needed to please God not only with my actions, but also with my heart.
This does not mean that we are to respond negatively to those who have done the same to us, nor walk in such a way that we are a hindrance to their drawing close to God themselves. In ministry we must reach out to those that God has placed before us, but remember that pleasing God comes before pleasing man.
Before I am wife, mother, minister’s wife, friend, or any other title, I am a Christian. My focus must be on pleasing the one who did so much for me. In Exodus 33:13, Moses cry to our Lord reads, “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in they sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight…” Moses wanted to know that God was pleased with him. I think this is the cry of every christian’s heart. We all want to hear, “Well done thy good and faithful servant”. This comes by walking in the way of the Lord. The Bible also says that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in the way. We please God by walking in obedience to him.
I wish I could say I have it all figured out, but I don’t. The journey toward my ultimate goal, heaven, will sometimes be hard and I may grow weary. I will press on. I know there will be trials to endure and joys to celebrate. I will keep on searching for truth and do all I can to live a life that counts for Christ.
I will live to please my God!