All scripture is pointing to Jesus. Pastors’ roles are to point their fingers toward Jesus. Yet we spend all our time comparing fingers.
Rev. Marty Martin, the leader of the men’s Bible study I attend, shared that comment at one of our recent studies.
As I’ve observed pastors over the years, I’ve seen far too many who are so concerned about how their pointing finger compares to other pastors’ pointing fingers, that they forget why their pointing finger is pointing and where it is pointing.
Sometimes the pointing finger comparing is encouraged by our congregations. They will often comment about a radio or television preacher in a way that implies comparison. And when they make those comments, don’t you find yourself looking figuratively at your pointing finger?
In a line from Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata” he says, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”
Paul understood what Ehrmann was saying long before Ehrmann said those words. He addressed this issue of comparison in Second Corinthians when he said, “We’re not, understand, putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they’re our superiors. We wouldn’t dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point.” 2 Corinthians 10:12 (TMSG)
Did you catch that there was comparing, grading, and competing going on in Paul’s time? And you thought something like that would never happen in Bible time, and how could they even question the great Apostle Paul? Don’t forget what they said about Paul. “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” 2 Corinthians 10:10 (NIV) How would you like that said about your preaching?
He goes on with this advice. “If you want to claim credit, claim it for God. What you say about yourself means nothing in God’s work. It’s what God says about you that makes the difference.” 2 Corinthians 10:17-18 (TMSG)
If you find that you are spending your time comparing fingers, remember Paul’s words: It’s what God says about you that makes the difference.