okay, one more “from the email bag” post

you’ll never convince me that leading a small church is not a whole lot more interesting challenging annoying than leading a large church.  ed young could never do what i do.  following is an excerpt from an email i received recently:

The people that run this church need to get a clue on how to treat people.

i wish i could tell you, loving reader, that this type of thing is a rare aberration, but i get them with irritating regularly.  usually when i think things are going well.  and i wish i could tell you that my first impulse is to rejoice, but it’s not.  i confess that my initial reaction is not very spiritual.

in paul’s letter to his young protégé, timothy, i find specific instruction on how i am to respond to these types of distractions:

Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. (2 timothy 2:23-24)

as i continue to grow in the lord, the most obvious adjustment he is trying to make in me is the development of patience.  as a church leader, i am clearly not allowed to indulge in retribution.  i’ve got to find a way to model kindness and self-control.  the type of thing i’m talking about goes way beyond “turn the other cheek,” or “heaping burning coals.”  god is calling me (very clearly, i might add) to possess and display a calm spirit.  when my mind wants to put the rabble-rouser in their place or withhold my friendship, my heart is compelled to reach out in love and be a “gentle listener.”

wait a minute…i am not suggesting that i have accomplished my mission.  i’m just telling you what the lord has been speaking to me.  to me, the purest sign on a man of god is one who chooses to serve “those who refuse to obey.”

here’s my question:  does that rule apply to my wife, too?


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One thought on “okay, one more “from the email bag” post

  1. It would be interesting to follow the sender of that email and discover a pattern that I’m almost positive will emerge. If they have children in school, I’m sure the facutly and staff don’t treat them right. If they have kids involved in sports, I’m sure the coach is always out to get their kid. If they have friends, they don’t hang around very long. I’m sure their stop at your church was one of many along their “church-hopping” journey. Sometimes when the Bible is not enough to motivate me, I remember what my grandma always told me…”consider the source.” People like this are often too blind to see that only common denominator to their problems is them.

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