The call to anonymity
Over the last few months, something has been niggling at me and giving me pause for thought. I’ve been pondering on the copious amounts of ‘prosperity’ doctrines propagated in and by churches and this inner conviction I just can’t seem to shake off that a lot of them are somewhat lopsided and unbalanced.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not tarring every single prosperity message with the same brush as quite a number of them present the whole picture and are truly representative of what the Bible teaches. My concern is with those that don’t quite ‘tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’. As the old adage goes ‘Never forget that a half truth is a whole lie‘.
These messages place a lot of emphasis on fame and fortune as the portion for every Christian. They postulate that we are all called to be wealthy and renown. They fail to point out, however, that most, if not all biblical promises are consequent upon our fulfilling certain criteria whether it be obedience, willingness or generosity, to mention just a few.
We are encouraged to seek fame and fortune in all we do as though fame, in itself, is a reward for diligence and steadfast application. I beg to differ with this directive. Diligence is not necessarily synonymous with fame nor does prosperity always equate with financial success.
Some of us will, by the very nature of our calling, vocation or ministry, find fame without necessarily chasing after or seeking it. Others may well have been called to anonymity.
The call to anonymity is not a call to mediocrity by any means. It is a call to steadily and diligently carry out our purpose on earth even if no one cares, notices or acknowledges us. It is a determination to get on with the business at hand with no regard for affirmation from those around. It is throwing ourselves into accomplishing God’s will with reckless abandon. It is visiting the sick and those in prison without broadcasting it from the rooftops. It is tending to the poor, widows and orphans without fanfare or publicity. It is lending a helping hand to the elderly and disabled. It is giving to charitable works.
This obsession with public acclaim and affirmation detracts from the true intent of our faith. It distracts us, lures us away from fulfilling our potential and places our focus on men rather than on God. It makes our motives for doing things questionable.
Whilst on this side of eternity, some of us may never see our names and accomplishments go up in neon lights. We may never get the opportunity to speak to mega-congregations. We may never receive accolades from those in leadership. Our service may seem to go unnoticed and unappreciated but we must rest assured that all of it will be noticed and lauded where it truly matters and by the only One who can adequately reward us.
Let’s cease worrying about acclaim, fame and fortune. If they come, fine; if they don’t, we must determine to fulfil our purpose whilst we pass through this transient phase of our eternal existence. Let’s keep focused on the bigger picture of eternity. Let’s keep our eyes on “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God”. Hebrews 12:2
Tara for now.