I’m going to be completely honest, I’m drawn to the idea of doing something great. I would love to be someone of wisdom who accomplishes great things, a great musician who writes songs that bless the church and a model leader for my wife, kids and friends. I want to worship God with all of my life and not waste it on mundane things that I wasn’t created to do. The problem is, being great for the sake of being great looks a lot like being great because you’re honouring God.
I’ve felt this keenly in my life lately. I want to be more focused in how I spend my time and how I develop so I can be more effective in ministry and life. I want to become a better writer, musician, husband and person because I feel like that’s what God’s calling me to. But I also want to be someone of influence because I would enjoy it. My pride so easily encourages me towards some of the same goals because they would bring me more notoriety, and who doesn’t like an ego booster? There’s a fine line I’m trying to learn to walk and I’m sure I will struggle with my entire life – one between living a better life for God’s glory and living a better life for my own.
Social media often makes me question people’s motives… and by people, I mean chiefly my own. Why do I/we post things on twitter, facebook or a blog except to get noticed by others? Sure, I’ve had people encourage me to continue writing because it does help people see things from a different angle and grow in their own walks, but as I mentioned earlier, it’s easy to have mixed motives. I want to connect with and help people – yes; but I ultimately have to keep my heart in check and make sure I’m not writing, singing or living my life for anyone’s glory except God’s. I think this is my – and may others – struggle with the current Christian music and literature industries. It is so easy to get caught up in the media and self promotion game and convince oneself that it’s all for the glory of God. This whole Rob Bell Love Wins saga has reminded me of this again. The controversy surrounding that book has been such a powerful tool for getting the word out there, but was it really necessary? Clear communication and marketing is something I firmly believe is useful and can be good, but it can be a dangerous road if heart checks aren’t done along the way.
As I continue to grow and develop skills and gifts that I hope will serve those around me, I hope those around me will continue to challenge me to walk through the doors that God opens, but not force doors open along the way. I believe I’m being called to do something significant in God’s kingdom, as we all are – but maybe greatness isn’t what I need. As I hope these words aren’t stroking my ego, I’ll conclude by borrowing the words of a man much wiser than I, the Apostle Paul:
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all. – Ephesians 4:1-6, NLT