Many in ministry start off with pure intentions, but that can change later down the road if we are not mindful. Along with ministry comes the lure of celebrity if we are deemed "great" at what we do. We must diligently avoid the trap that Lucifer set for himself in relishing the worship of others. We must also refuse to accept unjust criticism of those who seek to stop us in our tracks. Since dancers are often out front, we are open to compliments as well as criticism of what we do.
I recall a few critical moments from people who thought to give unsolicited advice after a ministry offering including comments like, "Next time, wear some shoes!" "You need to point your toe," "I would have chosen different choreography..." "You are anointed, but have no technique," and much more (since then, I have taken dance classes, but technique does not make an anointed dancer!). I have learned to chuckle at many comments over the years, but when I first experienced them, I was not so warm and welcoming.
On the other side, I often hear statements like, "You are so unique," "You are so anointed," and "I have never seen praise dance like that before!" While receiving compliments may be wonderful for opening doors, I must constantly tell my flesh that God gets the glory out of my story! I cannot let the opinions of people determine my dedication to service, one way or the other.
I said all of this to say that we cannot listen to unspiritual comments to determine our next move. David was harshly criticized by his own wife, but settled within himself that he would not be limited due to his title as king or position of leadership as he danced with abandonment. Who are we listening to today that may be causing us to stumble along the way?
If you have heard any of the following comments, keep moving ahead!
"Aren't you a little too old to be dancing?"
"Maybe you should lose some weight..."
"Dance is for girls and isn't very masculine.."
"Dance is for the 'young people.'"
"What you are doing is not real ministry"
"You are not anointed"
"You'll grow out of that phase..."
"I just don't get it..."
DON'T BE DISTRACTED OR DISCOURAGED!
Who cares about you? The Lord does! Let us not be overly concerned with people. There will always be advocates and antagonists, but the only opinion of us that matters is what God thinks!
(New King James Bible Version)
2 Samuel 6:14, 20-22
Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.
Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!”
So David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the LORD.
And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.”
1 Peter 5:6-7
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.