There are clear warnings in the Bible about anyone who seeks to teach God’s people. One example is from James; the Lord’s brother, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1) That warning is for the “good” guys, those who seek to humbly serve others in the Word and work for Jesus’ sake. But, what about the “bad” guys? Paul writes to the Christians in Rome; “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17–18) Sounds a lot like what Jesus tells His disciples in Luke 21.
Now, this is a longer conversation than we have space for here, for sure. Yet, the reality of who a false teacher, or broken servant, serves is evidenced by who they focus on. Jesus or self. I have heard many a man or woman say they are “stepping down” or “moving on” from ministry because they are not getting enough out of it personally. So much for being a self-sacrificing bondservant, right? (See James 1:1)
Of course, you and I only get out what we put into the ministry. If we are half-hearted servants with bad attitudes, we will not see the blessings we are seeking. However, when we go all in for Jesus, we will be blessed beyond measure. Paul reminds us; “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:7–10)
Our life in marriage and ministry should be about Jesus and others. If not, there are dangers ahead. So, we may want to change course before disaster comes. Anyone who serves in the Kingdom of God should know with great resolve that we are in this for Jesus first, Jesus only, and Jesus always. He will take care of the rest.