Motives of Others
But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. (Philippians 1:18)
We can be very quick to judge others, can't we? I heard someone say once that we judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions. We don't know why people do what they do, but if they do something we don't like, we tend to assume the worst about them, don't we? However, when we mess up, we excuse ourselves by saying that we didn't intend to do wrong. Our intentions were right; we simply missed the mark.
When we think of the early church, we don’t often think about all the unknown preachers and teachers who were going from town to town and church to church. But it wasn’t much different then than it is today. Some of the preachers were probably doctrinally correct.
Some of them were probably way off. Some of the preachers likely sacrificed everything they had to share the Gospel. According to Paul’s words in Philippians 1:18, others must have seen preaching as nothing more than a way to make some money and gain some fame.
While Paul may have suspected particular preachers as having wrong motives, he doesn’t point any particular one out. He didn’t judge their motives; he simply rejoiced that the message of Christ was being preached. They were obeying Jesus’ command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Maybe their hearts weren’t pure, but they were getting the Good News out!
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t judge doctrine according to the Word of God. We shouldn’t accept messages that don’t line up with Scripture, but we often judge people, not doctrine, because they do things we don’t like.
Practical Application – You may assume that you know someone’s motive in ministry, but you don’t. Let’s leave that up to God and rejoice when we hear of revivals, church growth, and new souls being saved!
Mark 16:15; Acts 19:13