Who We Are Is More Important Than What We Do

t is possible to be in active service and ministry, do a lot of outstanding work, locally and even cross-culturally, within the church and outside of the church, and yet be flawed deep within ourselves. Sometimes it’s pride and a need to draw attention to ourselves. Or it could be a lack of real generosity. Give you an example. I had a not-so-cheap crab dinner with 7 others at Melben Seafood some years ago. Amongst us was a guest preacher from the States. Near the end of the meal, Pastor Chris Alam went to wash his hands, I think some of us did too. When we were finally ready to leave, we asked for the bill and the waitress said “he paid already” – her finger pointing at Ps Chris! We were flabbergasted. I have never met a guest preacher in my entire life who has done that. Have you? Most who are in the ministry don’t do that. That’s real generosity.
Or it could be personal struggle with sin. Or it could be a lack of true devotion to Christ. There are many other possible dragons within our souls. Who we are therefore is critically important and it must precede what we do. Otherwise even the greatest and most famous amongst us may fall and the truth is, some have.
What should we do to avoid falling into such a dark pit? First, always have warm communion with the Lord, draw near to Him through His Word and in prayer, and He will draw near to us. Second, be careful what we do in private – guard ourselves from sin. Third, always be generous, give, give, give – not just our time but also our money to bless others. James reminds us, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (Jas.2:15-16) Never assume that we are exempt from this just because our salary is lower than others. Remember the widow’s mites? Fourth, always guard ourselves from pride. Someone once said pride is the only disease in the world where the person who has it doesn’t know he has it but everyone around him does. So true.

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