2 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV)
2 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
Making it all about me
I have taught and preached or conveyed information in different capacities. Small groups, Sunday school, blogging, videos, speaking at special events and speaking at various churches including one I was a pastor of for a little while.
I’d like to say I was faithful to point those under my teaching away from me and toward Jesus.
But I can’t.
The guilt of self-centeredness looms over my head. Many sermons seemed more like spiritual pep talks or self-improvement talks. These messages came from a desire to get pats on the back and words of approval rather than shine the light of the amazing gospel on the hearts of those listening attentively.
How sad. What a tragedy.
I wish it were different but it’s not.
Don’t make it about you
So my plea comes from a contrite heart. And my goal is not to shame you or guilt you because I know it’s really not hard to fall into this rut with our fallen nature. It’s not hard for the one sharing the message to associate with the message. When people approve or disapprove we can feel as if it’s approval or disapproval of us. So we do what we can to make the message critic-friendly.
Don’t offer up a cheap and temporary imitation. It’s like when you order something and then it comes in the mail. You’re excited but you open the package and all your excitement goes away because what you got is a cheap imitation of what you hoped for.
What a disservice we do for people when we make our egos more important than the message our precious savior entrusted us with.
Make it all about Him
Do them the greatest favor—give them Jesus.
It might not be the most popular message, but that’s not what we’re about. We can’t be concerned with pleasing people (Galatians 1:10). There’s too much at risk.
John the Baptist had it right.
John 3:30 (NIV) He must become greater; I must become less.”
When he had the opportunity to make it about him he chose Jesus. He was absolutely clear on his purpose.
More of Jesus less of me.
Give them and point them to the only thing that can bring a heart dead in sin to new life—Jesus Christ.