September 1, 2019

The Audience of One

Hundreds of letters and thousands of e-mails make their way across my desk every month. Most are good.

Jill Morikone

I stared at the letter in disbelief. It wasn’t addressed to me, but because of its contents it had landed on my desk. “There are many people on 3ABN with good hair, decent hair. And then there is yours . . . looking like the mice might make a nest in it.”

I knew the woman this letter was about. She was beautiful with gorgeous hair, smooth skin, and high cheekbones. Even better, she had a sweet spirit and a love for others. Who would write something like this? Who could even think it?

Hundreds of letters and thousands of e-mails make their way across my desk every month. Most are good. Sometimes 3ABN has blessed a viewer’s life in incredible ways. Sometimes it’s a message here or a sermon there that made the difference between life and death. Someone has accepted Jesus or discovered the truths in God’s Word for the first time; someone is walking into a Seventh-day Adventist church because of something they heard on 3ABN. That is why we exist—to spread this gospel message to the world.

Hundreds of letters and thousands of e-mails make their way across my desk every month. Most are good.

But what of the other letters? Not the ones with questions, for we love to help and assist wherever possible. I’m referring to the ones with no apparent purpose except to wound and destroy. There’s the viewer who said I laughed at inappropriate times, and it showed my lack of intelligence. The one who said that God knew that I wouldn’t make a good mom, and that was why He had withheld children from me. The one who said my sins must be keeping God from blessing this ministry. Ouch!

For some people a comment like that wouldn’t bother them in the least. “Oh, well,” they’d say. “That’s just one person’s opinion.” They’d let it go in one ear and out the other. God, why didn’t You make me like that?

Me? I spent two weeks in earnest prayer over that last comment, searching my heart. God, is there unconfessed sin in my life? Anything that might hinder Your work in my life or in this ministry? I want to live a life pleasing to God. My Father knows and understands this, for He knows all about me. What is the purpose, then, of random comments?

Perhaps it’s not about the person writing in; rather, maybe it’s about me. Where does my identity come from? Is it from Jesus, or from others? What about my value, my purpose in life? How much does someone else’s praise or criticism affect me?

Life is a journey. And what I’m learning is this: my Father’s opinion is the one that really matters. God, teach me to live for the audience of One, letting nothing and no one else get in the way.


Jill Morikone is vice president and chief operations officer for Three Angels Broadcasting Network, a supporting Adventist television network. She and her husband, Greg, live in southern Illinois and enjoy ministering together for Jesus.

Jill Morikone
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