The Danger of Promotion

May 22, 2008

Sergeant Major InsigniaFrom: Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones: Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

Our Lord’s injunction means avoiding anything that centres on this world only. . . . It applies to people who, though they may not be interested in wealth or money at all, are yet interested in other things which are entirely worldly in the last analysis. . . . They cannot be tempted by money, but they can be tempted by status and position. . . . Promotion has done endless harm in the Church of God to men who have been quite honest and sincere, but who have not been on guard against this danger. They have been laying up treasures on earth without knowing it. Their interest has suddenly been moved from that one centre of pleasing God and working for His honour and His glory, and has turned, almost without knowing it, to themselves and their own engagement in the work.

In such ways a man can be laying up treasures on earth, and it is so subtle that even good people can be a man’s greatest enemy. Many a preacher has been ruined by his congregation. Their praise, their encouragement of him as a man, has almost ruined him as a messenger of God, and he has become guilty of laying up treasures on earth. He tends almost unconsciously to be controlled by the desire to have his people’s good opinion and praise, and the moment that happens a man is laying up treasures on earth.

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