You spend your week filing papers, printing reports, chasing up bad debts, putting stamps on envelopes. Then you go to church on Sunday and you see a man leading hundreds in worship and prayer, and preaching inspiring sermons. It’s pretty obvious who’s pleasing God most isn’t it?

Is it?

Not so fast.

God looks on the heart and not the outward appearance.

What does He see there?

The Administrator’s Heart
Well, he sees that you start your day with prayer as you go to the office. You ask Him to protect you in your travels. You praise Him for safely navigating you through the rush hour.

You sit at your desk and begin the mindless filing, but as you do so, you are praying for family and friends.

You are interrupted by a boring colleague, but you cheerfully bear with him, listen to His moaning, try to cheer him up, and send him away with a bit of a spring in his step.

You sit down for coffee break, and bow your head for a few seconds of thanksgiving.

You pray for the Lord’s help to make that difficult phone call to a bad debtor. He yells and screams at you again, but you sense the Lord’s help as He gives you patience, self-control, gentleness, and peace. Slowly, your soft answer turns away wrath, and a few days later, the long-promised check appears.

Later in the day, you are putting the stamps on the mail, and praying for the Lord’s blessing on the day’s work, that the company would prosper, and that God would give harmony among the workers.

You leave work thanking God for His help throughout the day, thanking Him for a steady income, and asking God to bless your witness.

Then God looks at the pastor in his office.

The Minister’s Heart
There’s certainly a lot of hustle and bustle there. He’s reading furiously and typing even more furiously. He lost a couple of hours aimlessly surfing the Internet this morning, and a few more hours in a heated online debate about the millennium. Now he’s up against the clock as he tries to get a sermon together. But he’s done it many times before. He knows the websites to look at, he’s a skilled cutter-and-paster, and by the end of the day he’s got a fairly polished sermon constructed. He picks the songs he knows that everyone likes, and assures himself that after all these years in the ministry, he can easily lead the worship. Now back to the TV.

And sure enough, Sunday comes, he struts his stuff, everybody praises him, and he goes home, not to fall on his knees, but to start reading that latest book from Amazon.

Not one prayer. Not one contact with heaven. Not one act of dependence. Not one thanksgiving. Not one call to God.

Who’s pleasing God?
Now, you tell me, who’s pleasing God?

You do all that you do each day and no one praises you or encourages you or thinks you are particularly godly. The pastor comes and does his thing and everyone swoons. You go back to work on Monday without all that encouragement and affirmation, yet you patiently persevere in your calling.

Now, you tell me, who’s pleasing God?

If you do your work in dependence upon God, looking to Him alone for guidance, protection, strength, and blessing, you are doing your job with more faith than some men in pulpits!

If we preach about faith without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). But if we file papers in faith, drive trucks in faith, paint walls in faith, and dust the house in faith, God not only delights in us but rewards us too (Heb. 11:6).

  • Tom Budgen

    Encouraging post!

    Thank you Dr Murray!

  • Rachel Monger

    A good reminder to think about who are trying to please or impress – God or man? I have been thinking along the same lines and just wrote about the story of the “head of a goat on a stick” for our blog! Thanks!

  • Justin Keith

    David, I completely agree. And either way, we are all called to be ministers of a sort!

  • David MC

    At some point, professional Christian leaders became the ones “working for God” while lay people were doing their thing and trying to remain committed. Probably goes back to the priests in the RC church. But, it seems to me that professional Christian leaders should be focusing on equipping the lay people, as it is really they who do the heavy lifting in the world from day to day.

    Our jobs, no matter how menial or exalted, is first and foremost to be viewed as a ministry to our neighbor. There is so much negativity in the world, I think we would all be the most popular person in the office if we just listen and offer support where needed. Fear of “time vampires” who want to suck the life out of you is one of my biggest obstacles (I’m an HR guy) but we need to treat each one as if they are that one lost sheep out of our little flock.

    David has once again nailed it, many of us dream of a full time Christian position. We need to realize we already have one.

  • Cat

    This is such an encouraging post! Thank you for writing it.

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