Thursday, 28 March 2013
What Motivates Us?
Is it possible to be ‘dead’ to applause and criticism?
Fame, Prestige, glory and adulation are difficult to handle—especially when they come suddenly. As a young man, I was not capable of handling unexpected fame and glory I received in my work and ministry. But God knew this and He met me in my place of need.
I was returning from a graduation function at Fuller Seminary School of Mission in 1986 after having received an award from the school as “Alumnus of the year”.
I stopped over in Singapore where I got the opportunity to hear a man of God share from His Word. What struck me hardest was what he said about Mary, the one who wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. Mary did not use her hair, the speaker said, for lack of a towel. Rather, she wanted to serve Jesus with her most glorious asset. Surely, the hair of a woman is something glorious for her, and Mary used it in serving Jesus at His feet. I realized then, that all honors and awards are to be laid at the feet of Jesus. Otherwise they have no meaning.
The opportunities I was given to serve in the United Nations and in the scientific realm were actually God-given privileges to glorify Him. I was selected to do certain things, neither because I am great nor small and insignificant.
These days there is a lot of glamour associated with preachers and Christian organizations. The motivating factor for what we do in ministry, must be spiritual. In most cases, we suffer disappointment when the motivation comes from another source. Temporary applause and ego satisfaction soon vanish. But when we stand behind people and help them minister, we often find that they do a much better job than us. We need to recognize the importance of taking the back row and encouraging others to go forward. What should motivate us in all this is the constraining love of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:14).