I have a pear tree, an apple tree, and a cherry tree in my yard. If they were not producing fruit, I could go out and buy a bunch of wax apples, cherries and pears and hang them on the trees. This would make the trees look productive to those passing by, but wouldn’t fool anyone who took the time to take a closer look.
Rather than desiring to do big things for God, perhaps we should just focus on being obedient in the small things and let God worry about the rest. We can be encouraged in this obedience by the example of Joseph.
Our culture wants to tell us that it is OK to walk away from something that was vowed. In our society, we are no longer astonished by how often marriage vows are broken, even among church leaders. We have too much evidence that a pattern of seeing vows as non-binding has crept into the church.
This is, after all, what the word pastor means. A pastor is a shepherd, or at least, is supposed to be a shepherd. Shepherds care for their flock, not just as a group, but as individuals.
Can we please have a little bit more of the Apostle Paul and a little less of the flashy, hip, bringer of sermonettes? Can we have the humble servant instead of the CEO? Can we have a shepherd and not a vision caster?
The broader issue is that God hates double standards. When we hold someone else to a higher standard than we are willing to obey, then we are violating this principle. This is what Jesus was talking about in the opening verses of Matthew chapter 7.