The flowers in church this harvest time have been beautiful. What’s more, the knitted harvest display in the church garden is a joy to see, and has kept my children entranced as they spot extra little fruits and seeds hiding beneath the trees. How these talented ladies envisage, plan and produce these wonderful creations is way beyond my understanding.
Whilst being mediocre in many things crafty, there are some things within church ministry I think I’m pretty good at. I also happen to enjoy doing these things.
If other people offer to do these things I politely decline because:
a) I’m good at it
b) I enjoy it
but when I get to thinking about it there are other reasons:
c) They probably won’t do it as well as me, and I’ll get frustrated when the result isn’t up to my standard
and perhaps, if I’m being totally honest:
d) What if they do it better than me and I’m left humiliated and disappointed.
And so I’ll keep doing what I do and other can find other jobs that don’t tread on my toes.
What about that widow that Jesus pointed out was dropping two tiny, insignificant coins into the offering (Luke 21v1-4). Surely it couldn’t make any difference – what was the point? What if a well meaning bystander said “save your money to buy yourself food – I’ll contribute for you”.
That lady would be denied the opportunity to serve God as extravagantly as she was able, and be blessed by God for her faithfulness.
What if my diligent (but perhaps obsessive) service to the best of my ability is denying someone else from serving God as they feel led? I’m forced to admit that perhaps a little bit of vanity and an unhealthy martyrdom may be sneaking into my “ministry”.
And so let us ” encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Tess 5v11) and consider it a joy when others wish to serve God. Our standards count for nothing when presented to our loving Father – “for the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16 v7).
May we work, worship and build our relationships this week, not judging our and others’ outward skills and abilities, but with a focus on our heart’s response. May we serve through a desire to give praise to our Father God.