Have you ever known a Type A personality (an archaic term used to describe a high-strung uberconfident person prone to cardiovascular disease) that gets under your skin? You know who I mean: the assertive, hard-charging, extremely ambitious, painfully persistent and insufferable guy or gal who keeps pushing until they get their way.
Let me introduce you to Jehu. His story is found in 2 Kings 9 and 10. God gave Jehu the task of purging the nation of folks who encouraged the sinful proliferation of idol worship in their national culture. Jehu was very aggressive and accomplished his assignment efficiently and ruthlessly.
When the task was accomplished, the Lord praised Jehu for following his instructions, though the Lord was not entirely pleased with Jehu. As a result, the Lord limited the number of Jehu’s heirs who would be national leaders. Apparently something was amiss with Jehu’s attitude. Ironically, Jehu eventually led his people into sins like the previous administration. Theologians and Bible commentaries suggest that Jehu took action against the previous leaders out of selfish political ambition or because of some malevolent feeling he had against them. In other words, they say he despised the sinners, not the sin, and he may have used the Lord’s assignment as a mechanism to advance himself politically.
Whatever his motivation, Jehu did everything the Lord asked him to do . . . but he wasn’t tracking with the Lord’s heart and motives. Jehu had his own agenda. He had the appearance of a servant, but he had aspirations of something more.
Many of us start out with good intentions. We feel like the Lord has given us an assignment and we go after it with zeal. But somewhere along the way our motives get twisted and our efforts become about our personal ambitions when it should always be about the veneration of God. We would be wise to periodically ask ourselves some poignant questions like: Why am I doing what I’m doing? Are my motives free of selfish ambition? Am I too aggressive or assertive? Am I tracking with the heart of the Lord? If I’m off track, am I open to correction from the Lord?
These are prudent questions that can keep every believer from running afoul of the Lord.