AUTHENTICITY IN THE PUBLIC;The Church Today
AUTHENTICITY IN THE PUBLIC; The Church Today
I have always loved watching my fellow Christians go about their life. However, it becomes a concern (to me) and a temptation (to the receiving end) when what is done in public has been and is being used to define one’s maturity in faith. Here, we start missing the mark. One of the detrimental factors that are producing Christians who are zealous but not fruitful is, public-orientation.
The church today is producing renowned Christian leaders whose sincere personal walk with God, if openly evaluated, unfortunately, none can learn from. It is producing passionate people with empty heads. Who love a Jesus they barely know, as someone has said before.
In such matters, I find myself choosing like Paul in 1 Cor 14:6-20, Galatians 3:1-6 and severally elsewhere, to be a bit literal and ‘mechanical’, a probing approach which many prefer not.
Let us be open with each other. I’ll ask a question that a certain speaker asked.
“Let me ask you a question, the life you live, the lifestyle in which you walk, is it for God? And don’t play with me. Is it really for God? Don’t just say the words, is it really for God? If we were to open up the heart chamber that holds the motivation, would we see that you really are doing what you do for God, or is it all about you in God’s name? That is the question.”
It pains to know that some Christians live zealously and get so much involved in ministry work, ‘doing what no man can do,’ yet are headed for hell. It will be surprising to find the so called active brethren shut out by Christ, saying He never knew them. On the other hand however, the most ‘inactive’ and silent Christians allowed in to enjoy the mansions that Christ has been making for them and that which they have been preparing for.
It is therefore good to realize that, maturity in Christianity is not measured by visible public radicalism rather by sincere, honest service and commitment. This leads to a food for thought in the mind of every believer;
“Why do the scriptures numerously associate publicity with unfruitfulness?” – Lazarus & the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14)? Prayer (Matthew 6:5)? Multitude of words (Proverbs 10:19)?
I ask us, does being in public in any way change the motive, reason or purpose of our actions? We get too comfortable when whatever is being seen by people receives applause, convincing us that we are actually doing it for God even when we are not.
When ‘you’ are doing those vectors & locus in those concerted prayers, is it for the glory of God? When ‘you’ are performing those ‘lazima kieleweke’ martial arts, acrobatics and gymnastics on the crusade pulpit, is God the center of it all? Avoid being that carnal and sincerely evaluate the authenticity & fruitfulness of your actions dear one.
When ‘you’ are making that ‘noise’ on the crusade pulpit. Not even allowing your interpreter to interpret for the sake of the unreached rather enjoying the applause from fellow missioners, what’s ‘your’ motivation? Who is ‘your’ intended audience? Are we just doing our own things, in the name of God but seeking men’s approval? Or are we honestly focused on fruitfulness?
When ‘you’ are ‘soaked in the spirit’ in those ‘tongues’, are you in a position to account for the edification there after? Are ‘you’ honest with yourself? When ‘you’ are trying to hit those high notes on the piano, slapping that bass guitar and dancing with the violin, is it the congregation or the ‘ONE’ who’s being praised in your mind?
When ‘you’ wake up for that devotion, attend those joint prayers, wake others up for that midnight power hour is it honestly geared towards fruitfulness? Or why do we have brethren so in pursuit of eloquence in prayers that they end up using lots of ‘father Lords, master kings, Jehovah fathers and multitudes of words’ with very little said in prayer? Unlike Moses, who took his time, stammered and paused, but ended up communicating to the Lord, even face to face.
Is it really for God and impactful to your personal relationship with God, or have you just continuously convinced yourself so, till you have believed that it is? Can He who “searches our hearts” (Romans 8:27, Jeremiah 17:10) and “judges our motives” (Proverbs 16:2) see or hear anything or He just sees an out-of-mind person (1 Cor 14:23) and hears a clanging cymbal as you guiltlessly waste some precious study time, sleep or other time you’d rather have used otherwise?
Being among others, tempts people who began innocently doing things more aware of their neighbors’ attention that fruitfulness no longer remains their primary goal. Sometimes, some of us, (like those who have read this feeling not part of the audience all through), feel immune and settled, having ‘mastered the art’ of remaining on course in public. Seeing not the need to evaluate ourselves even when we ought to. Beware lest you ignorantly miss the mark!
I write this, much aware that for some reason, even deliberate unfruitfulness might still continue. But may we find it in us to be deliberate of the motive and motivation of our actions being anchored on pleasing the Lord; who always evaluates our motive.
Most importantly, not only do the scriptures guide us on what to do as Christians, but also directs us on how to do everything! We have ignorantly chosen not to study it while some of us read but choose to follow the instructions selectively and continue in what they’ve been comfortable.
The question still remains;
- Has being in the public always or ever led you to spiritual unfruitfulness?
- Do you receive your reward every time you do something in ministry (Matthew 6:5) or are your actions sincere and selfless that your reward will be in heaven?
- What other motive drives you? Have you also done things because you are expected to or just to feel you have done them; just to get over with?
- Can you evaluate and give an account of the fruitfulness from each action that you engage in in any field of ministry?
Silent Christian, don’t get comfortable as the holy one too early. Yours is a story for another day.
Grace, love and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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