I WILL REJOICE!
It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.
Philippians 1:15-18 NLT
This passage presents a hard truth about human nature. Even in the ministry there are some with wrong motives. Some are in the ministry, preaching the gospel of Jesus with the motive of “selfish ambition.” I remember early in my ministry struggling with those who did not seem to have pure motives for their ministry. Even today I hear some persons that rub me the wrong way because it appears that their motives are wrong. In my early days it almost derailed my own desire to be in ministry. I am naturally competitive. It did not take long for me to recognize my competitive nature could be a real problem in ministry. I could lose sight of the purpose of my calling and allow selfish ambition to drive me to say and do things that were more of the flesh than of God. This is why I love Paul’s perspective on those with wrong motives. He seems to have a very big view of God. He can rejoice when the gospel is being preached, even if the person doing the preaching has a personal agenda. Paul obviously sees God as capable of handling the imperfect humanity that was preaching the gospel. He does not try to correct everyone or name those who were in the wrong. He just rejoices that the gospel is being preached. I rejoice when the gospel is preached. There are times I struggle with the person preaching, yet I rejoice that the gospel is going forth. Let’s face it, if perfection were a requirement for being in the ministry no one would qualify! God wants to work through all of us. If we allow Him, God will clean us up in this process. Let’s face it, on this side of eternity none of us will reach perfection. We are all striving to be like Jesus, but the flesh is still present. This should not be an excuse for failure or sin on our part. It should just help us to give grace to others. The same grace that God has given to us. Therefore, let’s be like Paul and rejoice rather than criticize.
Holy Spirit please work on my selfish ambition and help me to be humble in the ministry You have for me. Help me to give grace to others in their struggles.
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