This is a painfully true insight from Voddie Baucham.
If I win a political argument, but have not love, I just add to all of the other noise.
And if I have the power to bring about change, and understand how things work and know more than most others and even have enough faith to make the impossible a reality, but have not love, I am wasting my time.
If I promote social justice, and even sacrifice my own well-being, but have not love, I am being counter-productive.
Love waits for those who have not yet arrived and it is gentle with them along their way. Love is content with the success of others and it is not self-centered.
Love is not vulgar or always trying to stir something up. Love recognizes when there is another way that is better. Love is not cranky or bitter.
It does not delight in evil or the sufferings of others, but it celebrates the truth.
Love carries the load when no one else can, it seeks what is best for another, it desires the best for another and it sticks around when all others have left.
Love is not temporary. Powerful words and teachings will die. Great talents and gifts will come to an end. There will be a time when an expensive education will no longer matter.
We don’t know it all and we certainly can’t explain it all.
But when everything is finally made right, most of the things that caused us to forget how to love one another will be gone.
When I was a kid, I said the silly things that kids say, my thoughts were childish and even what little logic I had was very immature. Once I grew up, I grew away from those juvenile characteristics.
Right now, we aren’t able to see the whole picture, but there is coming a time when we will look Christ in the face. When that happens, everything will make sense because I rest in the middle of God’s perfect knowledge.
In eternity with Christ, there will no longer be a need for faith or hope but there will always be perfect love between God and man. Love matters the most.
The house my father grew up in didn’t have air conditioning. Instead, there were several strategically placed electric fans. This being before the days of warning labels and safety standards, about the only thing separating the blades of the fan from the fingers of a child was something that kind of resembled a punter’s face mask from the early 1960s. That is to say, not much.
One day my dad asked his mother what would happen if he stuck his finger in the fan. In her typical fashion, my grandmother said something along the lines of, “Stick your finger in there and find out.”
Not wanting to be disobedient, my dad stuck his finger in the fan.
To the best of my knowledge, that was the last time my dad ever stuck his finger in a fan. Lesson learned.
Conservative voters aren’t quite as astute as my father. They just keep on voting for the lesser of two evils. They can’t quit touching the fan and hoping for different results.
Now that it looks as though Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be facing one another in the general election, people have already started saying that not voting for the Donald is about the same as voting for Hillary. There is no perfect candidate. Pick the lesser of two evils and get along with life.
While I agree that there is no perfect candidate, this lesser of two evils approach begs the question. Where do we draw the line?
This year, voters will be choosing between a loud mouth crooked politician who supports Planned Parenthood and a loud mouth womanizing businessman who supports Planned Parenthood. Which one exactly is the lesser of two evils again? Oh, the loud mouth womanizing businessman who financially supported the loud mouth crooked politician is the lesser of two evils because he wants to build a wall. Got it.
Many have said that the rise of Bernie Sanders is evidence that our government education system, along with a little help from helicopter parents and participation trophies, has failed us. I agree.
But this works both ways.
The rise of Donald Trump is a result of media pundits with no real principle other than being mad at the other party.
If we truly want to make America great again, we need to look beyond the lunatic in the red hat and look in the mirror. We need to stop voting for a party and start voting on principle. The more we vote for the alleged lesser of two evils, the more principle we give away.
When our principles run no deeper than Anyone But The Democrat or I’m Fed Up, Donald Trump is what we get.
Over the years, conservatives have been given big government politicians, big government family dynasties and big government businessmen and been told to just go with the lesser of two evils. Now that’s gotten us a big government reality TV star.
But there is one thing we can be thankful for this election cycle. We should all be glad that another reality star didn’t decide to run for president on the Republican ticket. If Kim Kardashian decided to run as a Republican and said mean things to Megyn Kelly and Rosie O’Donnell, she’d already be measuring her solid gold drapes for the windows of the White House.
And those of us who recognized the absurdity of electing her as our next president would be told to simmer down and vote for the lesser of two evils. “She’s going to build a wall and make Kanye pay for it,” they might say.
So thank you Kim, for not running. My guess is that you’d probably run the country off a cliff within the first week of your presidency. Such an accomplishment will take President Trump a solid month.
In today’s modern, progressive world it turns out that the kitchen is a really bad place.
John Kasich got in trouble earlier in the week when he said that his election to public office back in the 1970s was made possible because women, “left their kitchens” to get the word out about him. Before the word kitchen had fully left his mouth, progressives and feminists pounced on the opportunity and/or offense depending on how you look at it.
Most politicians make a living out of saying what people want to hear and these days, everything that you could possibly hear is offensive to someone. I can’t believe that these guys are still giving speeches.
Maybe it’s just my status as a privileged male who grew up in a lower middle class, single parent family but I don’t see what’s so offensive about linking women to kitchens.
My grandmother spent most of her life in a kitchen. When I would go visit my grandparents, she would have a full breakfast ready at 7 in the morning. I would roll out of bed around nine or ten, just in time for the buffet she had prepared by hand for lunch. At around two we would have what she called recess. Recess was nothing more than us sitting in the kitchen and eating sweets. Almost immediately after that was over it was time for her homemade dinner. And then after that, more recess.
When I think of my grandparent’s house, I can’t help but think about that kitchen. It’s where we spent most of our time. We would eat mashed potatoes, pork chops, fried chicken and drink sweet tea that had more sugar in it than every Dairy Queen franchise combined. My grandmother never said anything about wanting to get out of the kitchen, trade in her apron for a pant suit and run for president. Get this. She actually enjoyed cooking. And we all enjoyed eating what she cooked. What a tragedy.
But that was in a different time. The generation after my grandmothers is when women were finally liberated from those heavy chains us chauvinist pigs think are just apron strings.
My mother was a part of that generation. Unlike my grandmother, she worked outside of the home. It wasn’t because she was trying to make some kind of a statement. That’s just what single moms did. My mom worked for the Leader Tribune newspaper in Fort Valley, Georgia. She was a secretary for a roofing company in the greater metro Atlanta area. And she was a church secretary in College Park, Georgia before she finally had to hang it up.
So yeah, she left the kitchen.
But she came back to it every day.
She didn’t have time to make meals like my grandmother did. We had a lot of Hamburger Helper, fish sticks and tater tots. And we had something that she called Coca-Cola Chicken. Coca-Cola chicken is just a chicken breast marinated in mustard, ketchup and a can of, you guessed it, Coca-Cola. One time a friend of mine called that a white trash meal. Maybe so. But it was good. Oh yeah. I almost forgot. We still drank that same sugary, sweet tea.
My mom spent a lot of time in her kitchen. But she wasn’t some depressed woman who was being held down by her evil male child. She was a mom. She was a chef who knew how to make a gourmet meal (by white trash standards at least) on a shoe string budget. She was a counselor. And not just to me. A lot of people from our neighborhood and our church got some good advice from my mom in that kitchen. And it usually came with a side of her sweet tea.
My wife works outside the home too. She’s a teacher. But cooking is one of her favorite things to do. Last week I asked my son what he liked most about his family. The thing he likes most about his brother is that he plays with him. The thing that he likes most about his mom is her good cooking. How rude! What a pig that boy is! For the record, he still hasn’t been able to say what he likes most about me. Either it’s too hard to narrow down for him or I need to see a counselor.
Sometimes, in typical evil male fashion, I volunteer to cook for the family. My wife takes me up on the offer and enjoys her time off. But most of the time she doesn’t. Part of that probably has something to do with the fact that she doesn’t want to eat my specialty that night. I call it Frosted Flakes. It’s a mixture of corn and sugar and milk. Send me a private message if you’d like the recipe. But there’s another reason. She told me once that she actually likes to be in the kitchen.
I’m 40 years old. That seems like lightyears away from the kitchens of my childhood. But every now and then something takes me back to those days. It’s usually a funeral.
I guess in the rest of the country, when a family member dies, people offer to pay for a government certified grief counselor. Where I live they don’t do that. People cook. Go and visit someone just after they’ve had to bury a loved one and you’ll find a kitchen covered up with casseroles, fried chicken and potato salad. And it’s all home made. Believe it or not, there are women who actually enjoy cooking in their kitchen and the fruits of their labors actually makes a difference in the community.
Today, womanhood is defined either by power or sexuality or some combination of the two. I think that’s the real tragedy.
The women who I’ve loved the most, my wife, mother, grandmother and friends from church display their womanhood through their service and their joy. Some of those cooks have multiple degrees and some have hardly any. But that doesn’t matter. Any female can go to school or get a high paying job but a real woman finds her joy in helping others rather than reminding others of how important she is or should be.
I’m no fan of John Kasich. He won’t be getting my vote for president. But my disagreements with him have more to do with policy than anything he said about women and kitchens.
At this rate, I’ll probably end up writing in a name for president. Maybe I’ll write down the name of Margaret Sanders, the lady who introduced me to 10 a.m. lunches and recess.
The world would be a lot better off if they could all sit at her table together.
There is something hurting our children. It’s not in the water. It’s not the vaccines. And it’s not something on television.
The thing that’s hurting our children is parents.
That isn’t to say that we need to rethink the family institution and hand our kids over to the government, as some pundits propose. Rather, parents who really care about their children need to come to grips with the shortcomings of their children. Too many parents are excusing their children to death.
When my son was younger he was throwing a fit in public. This fit had all of the ingredients of a toddler tantrum: arched back, crying with no tears and throwing things. But I had a fall back. The fit had nothing to do with my son’s character or my parenting. He was teething. I joked with a friend that I’d be using the teething excuse until my son’s 18th birthday.
For some parents, that joke isn’t too far from reality.
We like to say that our uncontrollable toddlers are strong-willed. And when those toddlers turn into ten year olds, we blame it on a medical condition. And by the late teen years, when the prescription drugs have quit working, we just say that he, “fell in with the wrong crowd.” Never once do we blame the problem on sin or our own parenting.
When our child has a rampage at the McDonald’s playground and takes out three teeth from a girl half his size, it just sounds better when we blame it all on a psychotropic imbalance in his medial frontal artery or some such gibberish. If you just call it a sin problem, people think that you’re an idiot.
Let’s be clear. Your child has a sin problem. So does mine. So do you. And so do I. It is a problem of the heart. But somewhere along the way we began believing that a child’s heart problem could be treated by taking two pills and calling the doctor the next morning so that he can tell us to up the dosage to three pills.
Yes, there are strong willed kids. But in too many cases and for too many parents, strong-willed child is code for, week-willed parents. A strong willed child does not need a label. What he really needs is loving parents who have a will stronger than his.
Yes, some kids do have medical conditions that cause crazy symptoms and require medical attention. The key phrase there is some kids. Not all kids. The fact that the kid four houses down has a legitimate medical issue that requires a doctor’s attention does not mean that every parent on that street gets to throw away their responsibility to discipline and instruct their children and let a prescription do their job for them.
And yes, we do need to make sure that our kids do not fall in with the wrong crowd. But at the same time, we need to come to grips with the very real potential that our kids either are or are becoming the wrong crowd. When we fall back on the strong-willed child crutch or rely on pills over actual parenting, we should not be surprised when our kid becomes the leader of the Wrong Crowd Gang.
We are excusing our kids to death. Instead of justifying foolish behavior, we would serve our kids much better if we lovingly corrected that foolish behavior.
Parenting is hard. We all mess up. There are days when we feel like all we have done is correct our children and there are days when we go to bed at night afraid that we didn’t correct them enough. No matter how good of a job we do, when our kids grow up they’ll sit around a table with their friends and talk about something stupid we did while raising them. But we can’t give up.
We need wisdom.
We need prayer.
And our kids need us.
Our kids need us to guide them.
What they do not need is our excuses to cover for them.
Just when you thought this presidential campaign couldn’t get any stranger, the pope gets involved.
When asked about Donald Trump’s immigration plan on Thursday, the pope said that, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
Before the words were fully out of the pope’s mouth, Donald Trump responded by telling us how great of a Christian he is. That’s right, the guy who lives in a castle and has people pray to him and the serial adulterer who builds casinos are arguing with one another over who’s more Christian.
A while back my son asked me who I would vote for between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. My answer was simple.
I think that’s an appropriate answer as the world contemplates who is the real Christian, the pontiff or the Donald.
One of the problems in our society is that the options we are told to choose from are often lacking at best. Do you want to vote for the candidate who wants to spy on you or the candidate who wants to murder babies? And of course, it goes beyond politics. Do you want to go to the church with the pastor who only wants your money or the church with the pastor who only likes to tell stories about her wife?
In the face of these terrible choices, we have conditioned ourselves to choose the lesser of two evils when what we should be doing all along is simply responding, “Neither one.”
For far too long, Christians have allowed politicians, talk radio hosts and snake oil salesmen to be their Bible teachers. Rather than mature in Christ in a church setting, we have settled for the leadership of fads, crowds and loud mouths. And we wonder why the Christian voice seems so weak in our culture.
If we were truly a people of the Bible, we would know that salvation is only by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone and easily reject whatever any pope had to say about true Christianity. And if we were truly a people of the Bible, we would just as easily reject arrogant womanizers who like to tell us how Christian they are.
I was talking to a firefighter recently about an intense training session he had to go through. A lot of the younger guys in the class with him had just gotten out of the military. With every opportunity, a lot of them made sure to remind everyone that they were in the military, even going so far as to tell a few stories about their accomplishments. When the training was over there was one other man who hadn’t said much. But when asked about his background, he spoke. He was a member of an elite special forces team that had taken part in some of the most significant military campaigns in this country’s recent history.
If you constantly have to prove to people how bad you are, you’re probably not all that bad. The real bad dude is the one sitting in the corner who hasn’t said anything yet.
I think that the same lesson applies here.
The real Christian isn’t the one living in a palace behind a wall and judging a man who wants to build a wall of his own. And the real Christian isn’t the one who likes to talk about Two Corinthians in one breath while bragging about his sexual exploits with the next.
If you want to see a real Christian, turn off your television and go to the nursing home. You’ll find real Christians there serving widows in their distress out of their love for Christ and others.
And go find a family that is trying to adopt a child through foster care because they take the Bible seriously when it says that legitimate religion involves taking care of orphans.
I would also refer you to the older lady in any given church who isn’t able to do a whole lot but still writes encouraging letters to people and prays for them because she wants to finish her life actively serving her Master.
Those are the real Christians.
But if you’re left to decide between the authenticity of the pope’s Christianity or the Donald’s, there really is only one answer.
Grace shows up in funny places. Sometimes it comes in one of those moments when you can’t help but tell other people how good God is. Like when you get a big raise at work. But sometimes grace comes in a different package.
Like when you have an affair and get some guy’s wife pregnant.
If you read the account of David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11, you can’t help but notice all of the corruption and heartache. But there’s grace there too.
And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.” 2 Samuel 11:5 (ESV)
A pregnancy was the last thing that David wanted. It meant that his fling with Bathsheba would eventually be exposed. It meant that he couldn’t carry on with life as if nothing of consequence had ever happened with the woman down the street. So, seeing as how Planned Parenthood wasn’t around back in those days, David did the next best thing. He tried to make it look like the woman’s husband got her pregnant and then killed him when he wouldn’t cooperate.
Now that’s a cover-up.
Only it didn’t work so well.
That’s where we see grace showing up again in an unexpected way.
And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD. 2 Samuel 11:27 (ESV)
God, in his grace, forgives us of our sins. But we are stubborn. Many times we do not think that we need forgiveness. Like David, we settle for a good cover-up scheme rather than genuine repentance. But God loves his people too much to ignore their sin. Just as his grace forgives us of our sins, his grace often exposes our sins, reminding us of the need for forgiveness in the first place.
In David’s life, this exposing grace came in a visit from a man named Nathan.
Nathan was a prophet. It was his job to say hard things but it probably didn’t get much harder than having to call out the king for a hidden sin. Such a thing could mean death for a man in Nathan’s position. Fear didn’t stop him from delivering his message. But he did do it in an unusual way.
He told a heart-breaking story about a rich man who stole, butchered and ate a poor man’s lamb (2 Samuel 12:1-4). David was furious. “Find this man and make him pay!”
Nathan’s response is unforgettable.
And it’s also saturated with grace.
“You are the man!”
I’m sure that David’s breath was taken away. Nathan went on to detail both the weight and the consequences of David’s sin. But there was grace as well.
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 2 Samuel 12:13 (ESV)
David would not get the punishment that he deserved. That is grace. But the highway on which that grace was delivered was David’s broken heart. And that broken heart would have never happened if God didn’t expose David’s sin through an unwanted pregnancy and an unafraid prophet.
You need a Nathan in your life. You need someone who loves you and God enough to lovingly call you out when you are wrong. Yes Men are not agents of grace. They are false prophets who will lead you to your doom. Grace isn’t always going to leave you feeling good. But, like any good medicine, it will make you better.
You need grace. You need it to keep you from hiding your sin. You need it to keep you from trying to justify your sin all on your own. You need it to point you to the goodness of the God you sin against.
God’s grace is seen in the forgiveness of sins. It’s seen in the freedom from sin. But it is also seen in his confrontation of your sin. You can experience the grace of God while singing at church or playing with your grandkids on the beach. And you can know it just as well when you are confronted with one of your sins that you thought was hidden. But you can never really know grace while you continue to cover your sins.
Maybe that’s why so many Christians like to sing Amazing Grace.
Only someone who has come to grips with his amazing sin can truly and honestly sing about God’s Amazing Grace.
Fear seems to be ruling the day. If you watch closely, most of what you hear from presidential candidates begging for your vote is based on of fear. If this guy wins, he’s going to do this terrible thing. If this guy wins, there might not be another election in this country. And so on.
Fear rules the day.
But as Christians, we must be careful that fear does not rule us.
Ananias was afraid. God had given him what appeared to be a dangerous job. He had to go into a house and have a face to face meeting with a man who most Christians at that time tried to avoid. Here’s what Ananias said in his futile effort to talk God out of the plan.
But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” Acts 9:13-14 (ESV)
“Lord,” Ananias said, “Saul is evil and he has hurt your people. Not only that, he has been given authority by some pretty powerful people to keep on hurting your church.”
Do you ever picture God laughing? Probably not. We’ve been brought up believing that laughter is either a sin or something beneath the Creator of the universe. In reality, God does laugh. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, there is no doubt that he laughed when something was funny. But there is a specific time that the Bible speaks of God’s laughter.
The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,
but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming. Psalm 37:12-13 (ESV)
I can’t help but picture God laughing when he hears a frightened Ananias talk about the so-called authority of those powerful men who were fighting against the Church. Whenever we encounter the authority of evil and powerful men, we must remember that their authority only goes so far. And we must remember the One whose authority is without end and without corruption.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Matthew 28:18 (ESV)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. Colossians 1:15-18 (ESV)
If you watch the presidential debates, it’s easy to give in to fear. Especially when you consider the very likely scenario of an adult who acts like a child becoming our next president. If you care about liberty, both individual and religious, the death of Antonin Scalia can trigger a panic attack. And if you’re one who feeds on a steady diet of talk radio and the evening news shows, and the bogus news articles your friends post on Facebook about the president selling the country to Martians, the fear seems even more natural.
Thankfully, there is a better way. Just remember Ananias. Better yet, remember the God he served. If you are a Christian, you serve the same God. That God has always been good and he has always been in charge and that will never change.
When Pharaoh refused to let his people go, God laughed.
When Herod made people think that he was a god, the real God laughed.
And when we feel the burden of living under corrupt rulers today, God laughs.
But God does not laugh as one who does not care. And he does not laugh as one who is amused by the suffering of his people. It’s quite the opposite. God laughs at the absurd notion that those who rule over us are somehow in control of us. He laughs at wicked rulers like a Rottweiler laughs at a barking Chihuahua. He laughs because, as the Psalmist told us about the wicked man, “His day is coming.”
There are two ways for that day to come.
It can come like it did for wicked Saul and lead to faith, repentance and a life devoted to serving Jesus.
Or it can come like it did for evil Herod when he was immediately struck down by God and his body was eaten by worms.
Either way, their day will come. So if Christians are going to be afraid of something, we should be afraid of the fate that awaits wicked rulers who continue to embrace corruption while rejecting God. Their day will come.
We live in a scary world. But we have no reason to be afraid.
That’s because, no matter what happens in court rooms, congressional hearings, backroom meetings and polling places, our God is the final and ultimate authority.
And he laughs at anyone who thinks otherwise.
I’ve never met Billy Graham.
I don’t have one of the Stanley’s numbers in my phone.
But I know an awful lot of people who are just as important to the kingdom of God. They may never get a chance to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast. The biggest crowd they’ll ever speak to is that collection of runny-nosed four-year-olds they teach a Sunday School lesson to every week.
The mark of someone who belongs to Jesus is not a ton of Twitter followers or a large platform. The mark of a true disciple is obedience. Sometimes obedience will carry you to a war zone to tell people about Jesus. Sometimes it will have you speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast. More than likely, obedience will have you telling a few people about Jesus in that war zone otherwise known as the children’s Sunday School class.
Wherever your devotion to Christ lands you, there is no better place for you to be than in that place.
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” Acts 9:10-12 (ESV)
Ananias was eager to hear what God had to say. That might be because he didn’t yet know what God was going to say. When God told Ananias to visit a man named Saul, it was comparable to him telling us today to take a trip over to ISIS headquarters to lead a quick Bible study.
Like Moses before him, Ananias tried to talk God out of the idea.
But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” Acts 9:13-14 (ESV)
Verse 15 does not say, “Suddenly the Lord realized that Ananias had a point and reconsidered his plan. After all, the Lord wouldn’t want his people doing anything uncomfortable.”
Here’s what verse 15 does say.
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:15 (ESV)
Not, “Nothing bad will happen to you, Ananias.”
Just one word, followed by a little explanation.
There was no promise of safety or even worldly success. Just a command. Go.
And Ananias did just that. He didn’t buy a ticket to Tarshish. There’s no giant fish in this story. Just a simple servant of Christ who didn’t allow his fears to overshadow his obedience. Ananias obeyed. Even if obedience to Christ takes you to the home of an anti-Christian terrorist, there is no better place for you to be.
So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized. Acts 9:17-18 (ESV)
Saul would later become Paul. He would preach before many. He would suffer much for the kingdom of Christ. Thirteen of his letters are in our New Testament. Paul is a big deal. But so is Ananias.
I never got to meet Billy Graham. He’s a big deal.
But so is Gene Hancock. Before he died, he spent his free time sharing the gospel at a truck stop. I’m glad that I got to know him.
Turk Holt is a big deal too. He has spent most of his life pouring the gospel into young people. I’m glad that I got to learn from him.
When we die, Jesus will not ask us how big our platform was or if we had enough Twitter followers. He’s more concerned with our obedience. Here on earth, there’s no telling where our obedience will take us. But when our time here is done, this much is certain. By grace, our obedience will take us the the welcoming embrace of an accepting Savior.
So no matter how frustrated you are or how unappreciated you feel, don’t quit. Sometimes obedience to Christ and worldly success go together. But when they do not, always remember that there is no better place to be than the place where obedience takes you.
And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:22-23 (ESV)