‘Ko si o, ko si o’ Mrs Sandras whistled as she set the table for dinner. It was her usual habit to whistle, as she tried to maintain a cheerful demeanour every single time.
‘Hahan Tinu, what’s the problem?’ Mrs Sandras asked her 19 year old daughter, who was sititng in front of the TV, obviously not watching it as the screen was off. ‘You’ve been sititng there for over 30 minutes now doing nothing’.
‘Mummy, I’m fine. Don’t worry’. Tinu answered.
‘You know I won’t worry before but then you’d answer my question’. Mrs Sandras replied back. ‘So, tell me, what’s the problem?’
Tinu knew her mum well enough to know it was better to say something than keep quiet or frame okay; if not Daddy would hear about it the next minute and she wasn’t ready to get any fussy attention this night.
‘It’s nothing really serious. In fact, I’m just being bothered unnecessarily’.
‘Anything keeping you sitting there for over 30 minutes is nothing serious? Hen, no problem. I still want to hear it’.
Sighing Tinu answered ‘It’s just my presentation in church today. I don’t feel too happy about it’
‘You mean the one you titled ‘Loving Beyond Gains’?
‘Yes, that one ma’. Tinu replied. ‘I’m not so happy with the feedback I got from it’.
‘Why? What feedback did you get and what feedback were you expecting to get?’
‘I don’t know really. But it seemed I didn’t pass the message well. I’m not sure anyone was blessed’.
‘Wow, really? Isn’t that the one you said God inspired you to say? Or you’re not sure about that again?’
‘I am, I’m very sure God gave me the inspiration and the outline of what to say’.
‘What then are you expecting? People’s appraisal?’
‘Not really that Mum. I just needed to know if they were blessed or not’.
‘And no one said anything, right?’
‘Sis Kike and Bro Johnson actually came to me and said ‘God bless me for the presentation’ but I don’t feel that’s enough’.
‘Tinu, you seem to be missing the point’. Mrs Sandras said. ‘I perfectly understand that you are not merely looking for the praises of people, you just want to know if it ministered to them and that’s what most ministers think too but that is where they miss it’.
‘How? Is anything wrong with that?’
‘Not rarely but it’s still not the best thing to do.’
‘I know we’re supposed to give all glory to God but what’s wrong in knowing if your ministration blessed people, isn’t that the main aim or reason for ministering? If that doesn’t happen, is your ministration not a waste of time?’
‘You’re right dear but that’s still not the main thing’.
‘Ok ma’. Tinu said. ‘What then is the main thing?’
‘Let me ask you a question. Do you always remember or have you even considered going back to God and asking for His opinion of how the ministration went?’
‘Asking God for His opinion? I’ve never thought of that. But He’s not the one I’m ministering to’.
‘That’s why I said you’re missing the point’. Mrs Sandras continued. ‘As a minister, God is the one who sent you to the people and also gave you the message, right?’
‘So, don’t you think it’s appropriate to go back to the owner of the message and ask Him if you delivered His message well, in the way He wanted it delivered? If I were to send you a message to deliver to someone, wouldn’t you come back to me to give feedback of how it went? Or if you’re working and your boss gives you an assignment, wouldn’t you give a report of what you did and then wait for his remarks?’
‘That’s where some ministers miss it. They focus so much on the recipients of the message. Did they like my ministration? Were they blessed? What’s their opinion about it? is their main concern and they fail to go back to the owner of the message who sent them to get His own feedback. Tell me whose feedback is more important?’
‘The boss, the owner of the message, God.’
‘Right. This is a major reason why so many people get dissatisfied in ministry because they focus on the wrong feedback. Although their motive is to please God and bless people, they miss out on this main thing, asking for His feedback. Besides, the feedback you get from others may not be the real thing. I’m not saying it’s wrong but there’s the possibility of being flattered, which has the tendency to lead to pride and even wrong judgment when the feedback is not genuine’.
‘And even when the feedback is right, God is the only one that can give you the most appropriate feedback you need. Besides, not everyone will obviously tell you they were blessed and that’s why you shouldn’t make that a yardstick for whether you ministered well or not. Do you understand?’
‘Wow, I’m surprised mum. I never saw it in that light. To get God’s feedback since He’s the one that gave me the message and even in other areas of my life, since He’s the one that can give me the most appropriate feedback. Thank you ma. I feel so much better now.’
‘Thank God, dear.’ Mrs Sandras replied. ‘Always remember that it’s God that will test every work that has been done here on earth by fire, so it’s better He tests it now, while you can make necessary amends than depend on the feedback of man.’
‘All right ma’. Tinu answered, smiling. ‘Oya, let me talk to Him and ask Him how it went.’
‘Your phone is ringing o, Tinu’. Mrs Sandras called from the kitchen, few minutes after the discussion.
‘Mummy, guess what!’ Tinu ran towards the kitchen, grinning. ‘God has given me His feedback o. Pastor Desmond was the one who called me.’
‘And what did he say?’
‘Hmmm…he was like I preached the sermon he had prepared, which was a confirmation from God and that’s why he didn’t spend so much time preaching. He said he wasn’t supposed to tell me but he felt the urge to do so and so he did and prayed for me too’.
‘That’s beautiful’. Mrs Sandras replied. ‘God bless you dear and all glory to His name,’
‘Yes o, Mummy. All glory to His name.’
John Fischer said “The value of a person is not measured on the Applause Meter, but is the heart and mind of God”
Whose feedback are you focusing on? Do you make it a habit to ask God for His feedback and opinion on a matter?
You can start today and feel the blessedness David felt when he said in Psalms 16:11 “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore”.