Lessons from Year One

Edwards-Carl-1My first year at MABC has been absolutely amazing! Mary and I are so thankful that God has brought us to serve at MABC. The last eleven months have held lots of triumphs, but also a few sorrows. I have learned so much through these, as some would say, seasons of ministry.

I recently read a book where the writer settled on Proverbs 20:8-12. I have read this passage many times, but had never marinated in it. Proverbs 20:8-12 says, A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows all evil with his eyes. Who can say, ‘I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin’? Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord. Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright. The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.”

A lesson I learned from this passage is to regularly evaluate my motives and check my heart. Weekly, and sometimes daily, I ask myself, “Why do I do what I do?” and “What do I count as success?” As I evaluate my heart, my prayer is to serve for the cause of Christ and promote His name.  As I look deeper, my prayer is to consider lives changed by Christ to be true success.

Though sometimes, I battle the desire to self-promote. Being young, I’m tempted to prove myself to everyone. I want to show that I am capable of being entrusted with much. I also tend to find myself relishing the praise I receive when an event goes well or someone likes my teaching. Now there is nothing wrong with receiving praise. What I do with that praise is what I wrestle with. My commitment is to regularly evaluate my motives, check my heart, and thwart the pull of self-promotion. I strive to serve in a ministry that is lined up with the will of God. I don’t want to get in the way of what God is doing.

I am reminded of John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” No one likes to be in a place of submission, but ten chapters later, Christ models true submission by washing His disciples’ feet. As I enter the New Year, I plan to use the next few weeks to look for ways to make Christ greater and myself less.