Last Sunday, my pastor David Landrith preached on Matthew 6 as part of his message series on the Sermon on the Mount. He gave such clear examples of the difference between the two that I wanted to share those here for us to consider as we lead women in our churches. Take a minute to read Matthew 6:1-5, 16-18.
First my pastor shared the difference in the focus for these two groups. The focus for the hypocrite is his own life but the focus for a disciple is God’s glory. In leadership, if my main concern is what is convenient for me, what fits my plan, and what accomplishes my priorities, then I don’t really care if what I do brings glory to God or not. I only care about what brings me satisfaction. As a disciple, I must go about my day asking, “What will glorify God today?” If anything I would do would bring a “no” answer to the question “Does this glorify God”, I do not need to be doing it. If anything I would do would focus on self, I need to allow God to redirect my priority so that what I do honors Him, and Him alone.
The second comparison between the hypocrite and the disciple had to do with motivation. For disciples, we are motivated by a life of humility but for hypocrites, the motivation is pride. Ouch! For a leader, it’s easy for me to feel as though it is “my” ministry and that “I” did it. If we do have a success in ministry as any point, we may be complimented for it. The enemy wants us to believe that our knowledge or skill accomplished it. But for the disciple, there is a realization that we can do nothing of value without Him working through us. Yes, He uses our giftedness and our passions to help us serve in ministry, but it’s through the power of the Holy Spirit and at His direction that we are able to have Kingdom impact. Pride is always lingering closely wanting to motivate us to serve others for what it does for us. We are to serve and lead with the humility of Christ. (see Philippians 2:3-8)
A third comparison was related to our reward. From the Matthew 6 passage we see that for the hypocrite, the reward was the applause of man, and that would be the only reward received. For a disciple, the reward is the blessing of God. His applause is the only one that matters. When we seek to lead just because it pleases Him and we are serving in obedience to Him, then it doesn’t matter if anyone else ever even knows.
Lastly, my pastor compared the goal for the hypocrite and the disciple. A hypocrite’s goal is to impress others and make himself known, but a disciple’s goal is to make Him known. I can’t help but wonder how often that truly is my heart’s desire. I pray that I would be purified daily so that as a clean vessel I will allow Him to fill me completely, and the aim would be to make Him and His name famous by my life.
Daily I must ask myself if my focus is my own life or God’s glory, if my motivation is pride or humility, if my desired reward is man’s applause or the blessings of God, and if my goal is to impress or to make Him known.
The message last Sunday ended with a quote that is truly challenging. I am “to be so conscious of God that I cease to be self-conscious.” As women’s leaders, let’s ask Christ to daily live in us powerfully so that God’s name is honored and His Kingdom is impacted.