We want to be motivated by the right things for the right reasons. If we receive praise from others that makes us want to perform, that puts our motives in question. Nor do we want their negativity to make us want to do the opposite of what is said.
Our focus and motivation must be on Christ. He must be real, close and intimate, so that our walk with him is obedient and sincere. All the strength of a Christian is in him and without him we are unwilling and unable to take the initiative and carry on, because without him there is no point.
Our love for him will fail, but his love for his people will sustain us and create circumstances so that we can continue each day. We can rely on him and put compete trust in his truth and power and know his abilities running through our veins.
Let our ears be closed to the carping and criticism of the minds of others and ourselves. Listen to the truth of God and seek earnestly to comply with it, and apply it to the will, and then the heart will be warmed and love will grow, even for those who hurt, criticise, and ultimately have no regard for our person.
God has also ordained that we have other people – husbands, children, family, children and a whole network of support in our lives, to guide us, advise us and keep us accountable to each other. It is important that we make the right kind of friend, and listen to the right people and we also must be the right friends and family to those God has put around us.
All those who call themselves “Christian” are not necessarily true or reliable and we need wisdom to see the differences in people and insight so that we can read other people and situations that confront us. Our charter is the Holy Scriptures and in no other place is there to be found reliable teaching and guidance for every kind of believer and unbeliever alike.
It does not matter if what I do is unseen or unknown. The calling is to follow Christ at all costs and to turn our back on all others and cleave to him. His comfort is beyond all description and the comfort that comes from knowing and applying God’s word to my mind and life, is the ultimate joy for the believer.
Finding myself at the bottom, ignored, side-lined and rejected, is not an indication of lack of spiritual life, or devotion, perhaps the opposite, judging by the New testament. Let us remind ourselves to look away from our own position and to look up to the face of Christ. To know him as Lord, is the crucial motivation and that will keep me serving him and following him until the end of the difficult pathway of the Christian life.