Thursday, September 17, 2015

Who is the most valuable guy in the church?

I recently read a helpful article on how to spot the most dangerous guy in the church. After giving some marks to identify this person, the main point is that the most dangerous guy in the church is unteachable

I want to take the opposite approach and look at how to identify the most valuable guy in the church, and then boil it down to his most essential quality. I’ve found at least five marks of the most valuable man in the church in the book of James. 

1. He is familiar with suffering and understands it is God’s instrument of growth. 
(Jas 1:2-4) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

2. He understands that the biggest sin problem is not in others, but his own heart. 
(Jas 1:14-15; 3:13-14) “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.”

3. He knows the destructive power of the tongue and anger, yet has gained control over them.
(Jas 1:26,19-20) If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

4. He treats others equally and is not filled with jealously or self-centered ambition.
(Jas 2:1; 3:14-15) “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.”
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.”

5. He is humbled by the high calling to teach and does not seek it for his own ego, and may not seek it at all.
(Jas 3:1)Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”

Take away
If the most dangerous guy in the church is marked by an unteachable spirit, the most valuable guy in the church is marked by his humble spirit. He has been humbled by suffering and sanctification. He shows humility in relationships and humility before the Word. 

He is humble and accepts that his greatest calling is simply to serve God and Christ (Jas 1:1). He is content if his life reflects that priority, even if he has very few fans and followers. He is not seeking to be valuable, since he is confident that his greatest value is found in the gospel. 

*All Scripture references are from the ESV