Instant Gratification

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I really believe that the “Like” button on Face Book is a wonderful thing.  Think about it, when you get a notification that so-n-so “liked” your post or quote, it feels good.  You get that instant gratification that comes from being appreciated or agreed with.  These days we live in a microwave society with a microwave mentality and the sooner things happen, and the quicker I can see results, the more comfortable I am.  Every motivation directed to the “DING” of an ending 30 second timer telling me it’s time to enjoy the well done fruit of my non-labor.  It is hammered into us all our lives to need visual evidence that our intended outcome has been achieved.  I find it quite difficult to wait.  This is not a quality trait in a minister.  If patience is truly a virtue,  what is impatience?  Sin?  Perhaps it is sin.

Y’all who share a Sunday School room with me know that I want as many people in class as I can get.  Why?  Am I really so arrogant as to assume that what I have to say is too amazing to be missed?  God forbid anyone be absent or tardy to “MY” class.  If humility is a virtue, what is pride?  Pride is an abomination to the Lord according to His Word in Proverbs 16:5…

Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in     hand, he shall not be unpunished. The Bible says in the book of James that if a man keep the whole Law yet stumble at one point he is guilty of all; James 2:10.  That means that in my impatience and pride I am just as guilty as the murderer and the adulterer, the thief and the homosexual, the liar and the one with false scales.

I find ministry more gratifying if someone gets saved or healed, as if anyone’s deliverance had anything to do with me, never thinking about the planted seed which will germinate and grow if only I would stop stomping around on the soil looking for a sprout that God will bring in His own time.  I also, and so do you, want to preach to as many people as I can, large crowds with great enthusiasm and many   a loud “amen” from the exited congregation.  Instant gratification.  Microwave mentality.

On a trip to East Africa the team I was with decided to take an afternoon to visit the Bujigali Falls just outside of Jinja Uganda.  It’s a bit of a chore getting down to the falls if you are as over weight as I was and I knew it would be even worse coming back up the 17,000 or less rock steps after our outing.  The sights were outstanding and a bit overwhelming; a man offered to jump in and ride the falls for our viewing pleasure if we would only compensate him a bit for his trouble and, as gratifying as that would have been, out of concern for his safety and a strong desire to maintain the shilling level in my pocket, I moved on to the next visual extravaganza; a man with useless crippled legs deftly climbed to the top of a 25 foot pole and balance there performing feats to boggle the mind.  There was also a souvenir shop where you could browse to your heart’s content and even spend all your cash, requiring you to sell a kidney on the black market to get home, on a trinket that would cost no more than a pack of gum just one mile away in the town shops.

With all this going on, one from our group sat down at a picnic table next to two men who were resting from their job; keeping the park clean.  As he began to visit with the two tired workers the conversation inevitably turned to Jesus and the Cross and led to them both receiving salvation in Christ.  They eagerly accepted the Ten Commandments book mark we had and even stayed to listen to a teaching on the subject.

It turns out that If I stop trying to see results, God brings them.  And then some.  It’s not our job to save, heal or deliver.  It’s not our choice or decision who will be in class or at that seminar or in the pews on Sunday morning.

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Gal 6:14 (KJV)

It is our job to always lift up and exalt the name of Jesus Christ high above ourselves and everything else, our choice to willingly serve Him at every opportunity regardless of audience numbers.  How dare I decree that two men do not reach the qualifying quantity for salvation.  Thank God my flesh was not on that bench, for I would be responsible for the souls of those men.  Looking back on our way up the stairs I noticed that a crowd had gathered around the two new Christians and, from my elevated vantage, I could see them in the middle sharing what they had learned and showing the Commandments to their friends.  “DING”  Well done servant.

See you in class…. J-

Written By: Jason Gausepohl

J- lives in Southeast Texas.  He’s a husband, father, Sunday School teacher and evangelical missionary who is active in both local and foreign ministry projects.