Fighting Backwards Ministry

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When you read the title above, I’m sure you were probably thinking I would be addressing false preachers and pastors of today. Surely false preachers and pastors need stern rebuking! But the fighting backwards ministry thought I had in mind is an internal and personal struggle. From my own experience, there is a such thing as being a follower of Jesus and functioning as a hypocrite. And this type of hypocrisy is a thin line to cross. 

For example: 

“Alonzo, can you take me to the store? I don’t have a car and I need a ride,” says a needy person. “Sure…no problem,” I respond with great excitement and enthusiasm ready to serve.

“Honey, can you clean up the kitchen for me while I run to the store to pick up a few things,” asks my wife. “Ah…do you want me to do it now? Sweetie, can it wait?” I respond without excitement and enthusiasm.  

WOW…look at the hypocrisy! If anything I should be more enthused and excited about serving my wife! 

The Lord has a way of mercifully revealing my sins.

Why is it that the love, energy, and zeal that goes into serving outside my home in the church and community sometimes seems to not match the love, energy, and zeal towards those I live with everyday?

People pleasing. Hypocrisy. Pride. Sin.

This is what I call a backwards ministry!

I praise Christ that there is no “pointing the finger” or “throwing salt into the wound” towards the sins He reveals in me. 

Then comes the condemnation of Satan, others, or my inner thoughts:

“I thought you were supposed to be a pastor”.

“You supposed to be a Christian right”?

“Yup I knew it…the church is full of hypocrites”.

But when He reveals my sins, what follows is a desire to follow Him in what’s right. And in this case, it would be to love Him with all my heart, soul, and strength towards my wife and family the same or even more as those who are on the outside of my house. 

So what I see in myself is the constant fight against the “backwards ministry”. The encouragement I get from Paul’s instruction to Timothy in guarding against the “backwards ministry” is to keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers (I Timothy 4:16). In other words, make sure you are doing all you can in practicing what you are teaching. Holy living as a practice can be considered a private, behind the scenes service (training my children, serving my wife, devotional life, etc.). Teaching can be considered an outward, in the open, for all to see service. 

May my private practice of service to the Lord be strong!

May your private practice of service to the Lord be strong too!

Let’s continue to not lose heart in the fight against our “backwards ministries”.

Thank God, Jesus has died and covered our backwards ministries and rose from the grave so that we can have power to have God honoring ministries in public and especially in private!

 

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