Monday, April 5, 2010

Non Compete Clause

I know it's foolish, and I'm probably petty, but I still do it. I don't do it as often as I used to, but I still fall prey to it occasionally. It started yesterday morning, continued last night, and reached a peak this morning. I hate it when I fall into it, but sometimes, honestly, don't know how to escape it.

Let me tell you how I got here. It all began with good things; encouraging members to invite people to Easter services to hear the gospel, prayer for the pastor to be effective, prayer for the people we were inviting. All of that is good, very good.

Then I did something bad. I violated God's non-compete clause.

We are not a "home for the holidays" church. Our people usually go somewhere else. Most of our grandparents go to their grandkids and most of our grandkids go to their grandparents. So, lots of people who are usually here weren't. I never feel good about that, even if I understand. And, I don't think it's altogether good for a pastor to feel great when his church is less than full.

But, the guests made up for the absence. As a matter of fact, there seemed to be as many guests as regulars in second service. That was awesome. And, I was able to preach the gospel of the resurrected Christ, and that is a very good thing. But, when the offer to respond was given, there was no response that could be seen. I know that some plant, some water, and God gives the increase, but it's still disappointing any time people do not respond to the gospel.

Ok, now to the last two nails in the coffin. I read a post by a pastor who had 300 in worship and 4 decisions to follow Christ. Then, I read another post by someone who went to another church and it was "fantastic." I know, I should be happy for the pastor and for Christian who experienced "fantastic church," but it is, after all, Monday, and I have, after all, violated the non-compete clause.

Perhaps I should call it the non-compare clause, as it reads, "Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding." (2 Cor. 10:12)

Comparing our house to theirs, our job to theirs, our spouse to theirs, our kids to theirs, our school to theirs, our church to theirs, etc., etc., just never works.

What's yours? Who do you compare to? Who do you feel superior to, and who do you feel inferior to? That is the fruit of violating the non compete clause - superiority and inferiority.

The only one worthy of our comparison is Christ. The only standard worthy of our emulation is the Scripture. Don't violate God's non compete clause. It's there for a very good reason. Do all for the glory of God, not the glory of self. Peace and worth are never found in superiority or inferiority. They are only found in trusting in the love, provision, and sovereignty of God.

P.S. Tonight (after writing the article above) God granted me the privilege of being present when He gave birth to a new brother. I do believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, because it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe. God, help me to be faithful to continue to sow and water.