“Do not look at man, look to God” seem to be the recurring theme at the belated welcome lunch for the new addition to our staff. There were three pastors and two lay leaders and I had asked them to give a helpful piece of advice to Ethel Shin the youth worker.
They knew that in her calling she would have to deal very closely with people. People of all sorts including leaders and pastors. People with different personalities, backgrounds, expectations and values about how to do church or be church. Some of them may be difficult to deal or work with. She would also know pastors and leaders who she thinks are good and godly, but as she gets near, and works with them, their imperfections will appear like cracks in the wall. She may get disappointed, disillusioned, hurt, discouraged or even worse cynical. Keep your eyes on the Lord, not on man.
Its good advice for everyone. The seeker searching for God. The searcher looking for a church community to call home. The faithful die-hard member and the active member serving in increasing capacities in different spheres and levels of involvement. The newly elected board member or addition to a leadership team. The new addition that joined a cell group. Keep your eyes on the Lord, not on man.
Someone said, There is a snake in every garden. We think the church is a garden and there won’t be any snakes in them. They are safe to walk, play and relax and lie down on. We leave our handbag around and $50 is missing when we get home. “I thought I have a $50 note inside, where has it gone?” Why should we expect the church to be full of Mother Theresas? The church is full of all kinds of people at different junctures in their journey and development. Even the Mother could be difficult for some to handle. The fall of man has its residue in the church and as long as there are people in church its good advice to look to God and not to man.
If we have to look at man, and Paul does ask his readers to follow his example, look at the positives, the praiseworthy, the good, the noble, the godly characteristics that we could be inspired, encouraged and blessed by. Look for the Christ in them and praise God that if we look with His eyes of faith and hope, we can see many encouraging signs of God’s transforming grace and love in them. Do not look at man, look at God, is good advice. And when you look at man, pay attention to how Christ has graced him with goodness and mercy.