I was playing piano during the worship service at our church. This doesn't happen often, but I'm glad for the opportunity when it does. I was nervous (as usual), and there were a couple of hymns I didn't know as well as I would have liked. I suppose it was inevitable...
Sure enough, it happened. About halfway through one of the hymns, I hit the wrong note. I still don't know how many people noticed (I was afraid to ask), but it was loud and clear to me.
Suddenly, I was even more nervous than before. I had a hard time playing notes and stanzas that I had easily played at home. In one hymn, I even had to stop playing for a measure or two and then start again. And everyone was there to hear it!
Finally, I finished the last verse of the last hymn. Relieved (but embarrassed), I returned to my seat, only for my brother to point out that I had only played four verses of the last song (there were five). I'm grateful that the music leader is capable of impromptu.
Back in my seat, I listened to the sermon off and on as my mind wandered. Why did my mistakes bother me so much? What was I so concerned about?
When I pulled myself back to the present moment (and the sermon), I heard: "You will know what a person's heart is like by their actions, attitudes, their words...and how they respond when things don't go quite so well."
Hmmm. By "how they respond when things don't go quite so well." Like when I miss a note on the piano. More than once. In front of the entire church. And here I was, lost in my thoughts about my piano proficiency and embarrassed at what others must think.
There was more to the sermon, of course. "A person's life is a reflection of what is in their hearts...Spiritual fruit in a person's life cannot happen unless the heart is set to glorify God."
"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?"
As I sat in church that morning, I knew that my heart was not set on God's glory. I was thinking (and caring) more about what others thought of me, my skills, my abilities.
But at the end of the day, what others may think of me or my skills will not matter. At all. What will matter more?
"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."
That is better than the applause of man any day.
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