We were all young and aspiring ministers and we never thought that anything could go wrong in OUR ministry settings.
Reference: v.7 Extortion turns the wise into fools, and a bribe corrupts the heart. (TNIV Bible)
Explore: Out of the many theological classes I sat through, there are a few that stand out quite profoundly. One was a practical ministries class where our pastoral care lecturer had a very honest conversation with all of us going into church ministry. He spoke openly about the potential abuse of power, the corruption of a position, and the opportunity where sin could easily creep in. It almost seemed ridiculous at the time. We were all young and aspiring ministers, and we never thought that anything could go wrong in OUR ministry settings. And yet, as I look back to that time, I see that our lecturer’s warnings were not ill founded. Many of us have left ministry for a number of different reasons, but the main one being an abuse of power by the minister, or by the church, towards the minister.
Application: As a child I thought that adults had it all worked out, and yet now I realise that as we grow up there just seems to be more opportunities for things to go wrong. The writer of Ecclesiastes was not talking to childish youngsters, but to grown adults who continued to do wrong. There are many situations in our lives where right and wrong do not seem so black and white. And yet, God desires for us to be the best that we can be… and that is walking closely with Him. There are many appealing things that will lure us away – money, popularity, pride. None of these are seriously evil, but whatever takes us away from God is certainly something that needs to be reassessed in our lives.
Prayer: Lord, often we don’t realise how far we are drifting away from you until we hit rock bottom. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on you at all times. Amen.
In your life now, what is it that draws you away from being close to God?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.
I think this is directed towards all ages and walks of life. We don’t have it together and we need to look at what is important in life. It isn’t proving others are wrong, it isn’t wealth, it isn’t power or status.
It is God first and foremost then family. All else will fall into place. Good times or hard times God will remain a constant in your life, as the end of the book Ecclesiates states all is pointless but God.