The True Focus

focus red word and conceptual target

According to scripture, as a believer in Jesus Christ and a child of the living God my sole purpose in life to give praise and honor to Him. Man should never get the same honor that is reserved for God and man should never be the sole focus of any believer.

I’ve been raised in a Christian home and have been attending a Baptist church since I was in diapers; I even attended a Baptist college. I know some but little of the Catholic church. One thing I do know is that they hold Peter as their first Pope. I’ve always thought this strange since Peter is known to have been married (Jesus healed his mother-in-law) and no Catholic priest (the Pope being the highest priest) are not allowed to marry. I also know (through reading books and watching movies/TV shows) that when someone has an audience with the Pope or other Catholic officials the custom is to kneel and kiss their office ring. This practice goes against what Peter tells Cornelius in Acts 10 (When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.”). As a non-Catholic, I find the practice of kneeling before any man and kissing his office ring offensive; especially in light of Acts 10 and the teachings of Jesus Christ where He teaches no one should hold themselves higher in office (or attitude) to others. No one should think of themselves better other any other person. The sad thing is that the Catholic church doesn’t have a monopoly of this type of practice.

We have churches in the Baptist convention that treat their pastors as if they were their Pope. The man can do no wrong and some of these men start believing it. I think it’s great when I see men staying longer than 2 years (that the average tenure of a pastor in the U.S.) at a church, but it seems the longer a man pastor’s a church the likelihood that they could (I say again; could) loss their focus. The focus or job of any pastor of a church is to equip the members of that church to grow in their relationship with God by reading their Bibles and having a healthy prayer life. The Christian should be looking to God for answers by reading their Bibles. Going to a pastor is good for help but a pastor is not the end all and be all. God is the end all and be all.

As a pastor of God’s people, I see myself as someone who should stay out of the way so God can do His work. Jesus Christ is the head of the church; He is the Great Shepherd of His flock. I am merely an under-shepherd; a steward. The focus should never be on me; the focus should always on God and what He wants for His people. I should never aspire to be honored; I should aspire to bring honor to my Savior and my Father. I pray I never loss that focus.

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