Thursday, April 3, 2014

God’s Ministry, My Integrity, Others’ Dignity


“This is not your ministry,”
The Lord whispered into me,
“What I ask of you, however,
Is just help others to be free.”
EVEN though we call it ‘our ministry’ or ‘my ministry’ or ‘your ministry’ it isn’t quite correct. It is God’s ministry that he does in others; we are just simply blessed to be sought to do that work that brings people in connection with the living God of their creation.
As a means to that end, we exist as vessels through which God pours his Spirit generously into. It is amazing that we are funnels through which this work of God occurs. We get to observe him, and to marvel, as his work takes place and continues in and through the life of another person, family, or group.
It is God’s ministry that we are involved in, through our integrity, by protecting their dignity. This is the prerequisite of the work. If we cannot protect their dignity and provide our integrity then we are not doing God’s work.
Dignity, for them, in our presence, as a ‘minister’, is all they may have. They present as vulnerable, by the very nature of their coming to us. They would not be seeking God’s ministry to themselves through us if they weren’t vulnerable. We, too, are vulnerable, but with this mask of ‘the minister’ over ourselves we can so easily become deluded – and, thereby, dangerous. We must care for our souls by taking up the cudgels of God’s ministry through our own devotional life – a thing we are doubly responsible for. For their dignity is our integrity, and by our integrity is created their dignity – all for the glory and Presence of God’s ministry in and through them.
***
Do you ever feel undignified before your minister? If you do, is it founded in pride against the work God wishes to do in you, through the minister? These are complex issues, but if a minister cannot dignify you and you feel there is a lack of care taken in his or her integrity, you might choose to go elsewhere. As a minister I must constantly ask, “Am I dignifying this person?” and “Is my integrity sound?” I am responsible to God to answer both these questions in fear and trembling as I work out my salvation.
It is God’s ministry that we are involved in, through our integrity, by protecting their dignity. That is how we love: through integrity in protecting others’ dignity.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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