– Pastor Bimbo Animashaun
We live in a generation where people handle privileges with light and levity such that the attitude of ungratefulness is enthroned.
And Biblically speaking, this is one of the signs of the last days:
Paul, writing to Timothy, noted:
2 TIMOTHY 3:1-5
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, UNTHANKFUL, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Among the many attributes that are characteristic of the last days, we have UNTHANKFULNESS, or put differently UNGRATEFULNESS.
This is where the issue of handling privileges comes in.
If you want to go far in ministry in terms of enjoying the favour of God and the goodwill of men, you must not handle privileges lightly.
There’s a right-conciousness that is killing a generation of believers and young ministers today, hence the thought of God on the matter should be set forth without fear or favour.
You see, RIGHTS ARE RIGHTS and PRIVILEGES ARE PRIVILEGES, and it will be very immoral and unethical to treat PRIVILEGES as RIGHTS.
But may I also humbly add this; a man who is meek, broken and humble will equally treat every RIGHT as a PRIVILEGE – now that is advanced level walk in spiritual maturity.
The way and manner you handle privileges can determine the coverage of your ministry on the landscape of time.
And to help along this line, you must first know that NOBODY OWES YOU ANYTHING IN LIFE.
Entitlement mentality is a very dangerous thing in ministry, with devastating effect that is corrosive.
It is carnal, childish, puerile, insensitive and unethical to claim rights over people while those rights are mere privileges.
Today, in the work of the ministry, the attitudinal disposition of many a minister shows that they substitute PRIVILEGES for RIGHTS and that has adverse effect on their God-ordained relationships.
A call into ministry is not a family inheritance; it is a divine privilege and entrustment.
The Apostle Paul stated very clearly:
1 TIMOTHY 1:12-13
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
Therefore, being called into ministry is a matter of PRIVILEGE; it’s not a RIGHT.
The circumstances that led to your call into the ministry notwithstanding, it’s a PRIVILEGE to be called into ministry.
And by extension, it’s a privilege to provide leadership to God’s heritage.
If Christ did not shed His precious blood on the Cross, then none of us would have stood in any leadership position in the Body of Christ.
Paul said the following words to the Pastors at Ephesus:
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Strong words here! We’re overseers today because Christ shed His precious blood. What a priceless privilege!
Therefore, you can’t talk to people anyhow or treat people anyhow – they’re God’s precious people purchased by the precious blood of the Lamb.
Any minister who wants to last in the work of the ministry must learn to SPEAK TENDERLY TO ZION.
You see, dear friend, I can say authoritatively without mincing words that wrong handling of privileges will place limitation on your ministry.
It will equally affect your impact, relationships coverage, platforms, favour and goodwill extended to you by others.
It is absolutely wrong to treat as small any act of favour or goodwill extended to you by anyone – that’s why several preachers have lost platforms today.
There’s this incomplete understanding that for every favour or goodwill extended to you, all glory must be to God, and as such there’s no need to appreciate people in return.
But that’s turning the Bible upside down. This is a matter of Biblical ethics and courtesy and we cannot be emotional or economical with the truth.
Truth is THERE’S NO PRIVILEGE WITHOUT RESPONSIBILITY.
You’ve got to take responsibility for the PRIVILEGES extended to you and never see them as RIGHTS.
For anyone to think good of you (AT ANY LEVEL) is not small at all; it is pride to refuse to acknowledge it and it is ignorance mixed with arrogance to say such is small.
Several ministers have lost grounds and platforms and even precious relationships because of this extremely negative attitude.
That spirit that tells you that the privileges extended to you by people are your rights is a demon spirit.
That attitude that makes you feel that any act of favour or goodwill extended to you by people is your right is UNABATED ARROGANCE, and it can cost a minister his future in the call.
By God’s Grace, I have never seen any platform I have been privileged of God to stand on as a RIGHT.
No; it’s a PRIVILEGE. There are ministers who can teach and minister better than I do.
There are ministers who can minister better than I do in specific areas of ministry, so it’s a PRIVILEGE to be a blessing to God’s precious people.
It’s important that we tread cautiously in ministry dear friends. I have met young ministers that are very arrogant and I know what I’m saying.
And I have also seen young ministers who will always tell you, “It was an oversight”.
You see, the issue of oversight will never be tenable in some ministerial quarters – especially with the fathers.
Today, you see some Associate Pastors preach as if they fell from Heaven, yet the privilege is extended to them by their setmen. What a wanton abuse of privilege!
You will need to be DELIBERATE and INTENTIONAL about things like honour, courtesy and ethics in ministry.
Don’t say you forget or that it’s an oversight. Train yourself well to appreciate privileges and thank people wholeheartedly.
Don’t say it escaped your mind or that as at the right time you wanted to do it, you slept off.
You’re not heroworshipping any man or woman; it’s a matter of Biblical ethics and courtesy, for we are told in the New Testament to provide honest things before men.
2 CORINTHIANS 8:21
Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
Friend, don’t take privileges for granted; acknowledge them and appreciate them, and sometimes it’s perfectly in line to reciprocate too.
Have you ever noticed that at the end of some of Paul’s epistles to the churches and to his ministry sons, he would always appreciate his co-workers and co-labourers in the Gospel?
It’s there in the New Testament. Why didn’t he forget? Why didn’t he have an oversight? Why didn’t it escape his mind?
So much to learn friends. Someone did you good; don’t forget to say THANK YOU and let it come from your heart – don’t say it shabbily.
You’re invited to minister somewhere; appreciate the privilege and speak well of the father in the house, his wife and the entire congregation.
Someone gave you a piece of information that will be useful to you; thank them well – don’t say something like, “Afterall, he too stumbled on it”.
That will be a terrible thing to say! He could have stumbled on it and concealed it from you.
You’re shown an act of kindness, favour and goodwill by anyone, show some HONOUR in return and show some sense of RESPONSIBILITY.
I remember recently; in the build-up to our Convention, our Land Lady who is a Professor and also the current Dean, Faculty Of Pharmacy, OAU Ile-Ife, walked into our apartment.
She said she heard over the radio that the Convention would be coming up the following week and that she only came to inform us that she was giving us the flat at the back (well tiled with POP) to lodge some of our ministry members travelling down.
She also gave us mattresses and it was just the favour of the Lord.
Now we deeply appreciated the privilege and on the last day of the Convention, we, out of a sense of honour, brought a heavy hamper and also special delicacies to her.
She was touched and she began to pray for us that the Lord would raise destiny helpers unto us.
Our Land Lady doesn’t come to our apartment and go back empty-handed. If it is a bottle of wine in the refrigerator or in my library or some drinks, we give it out.
I don’t meet elderly people in the Faith empty-handed. It’s a privilege to be connected to graces and THERE’S NO PRIVILEGE WITHOUT RESPONSIBILITY.
Dear friend, if you can internalize the content of this teaching, I know that the sky will be your beginning and there will be no ground under God that you cannot cover in destiny.
May the Lord help us all!
I trust this is a blessing Sirs and Mas?