The apostle James wrote,
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1)
Those are pretty sobering words for me, because I am often put in that position of teacher. God has given me his Word and the gift to teach it as a trust, and as Paul says,
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (I Corinthians 4:2)
The truth is, though, all of us have been entrusted with things from God. We’ve been entrusted with our resources, our gifts, and our talents. And God expects us to be faithful in our usage of them. If we are not, he will hold us accountable.
And because he’s our judge, he is the one that we need to be most concerned with pleasing. Not the pastors of the church. Not the people at church. Not anyone else around us. Only God. If we get too concerned with the praises of man, we become susceptible to pride at their praise or compromise at their displeasure.
Because of this, we need to constantly be searching our hearts. Why do we do the things we do? Are we doing them for the right reasons? I struggle with this all the time. To a degree, I fear what I will hear from Christ when I stand before him. What will he say to me?
Paul, even though he had a clear conscience, admits that even he wasn’t always sure of his motives. He said,
I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. (3-5)
I think one of the main points he’s trying to get across here is to guard your heart from pride. You may think that you’re doing the right things for the right reasons, but that doesn’t make it true.
As Jeremiah wrote,
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
The Lord responded to Jeremiah, saying,
I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve. (Jeremiah 17:10)
So whatever we do, let us constantly be searching our hearts, and asking the Lord to do the same. Let us ask that he reveal the motives of our hearts to us. And that will go a long way to not only keeping us humble, but also to keeping us faithful with the trust he has given us.
How about you? Are you being faithful with what God has entrusted to you?