Tuesday, May 20, 2008

RETURNING THE KEYS TO GOD

Of the many things I have done wrong in ministry, one of my more glaring is that of being so easily agitated. Such is not the mark of faith; most surely not. What causes that in leaders like me? I doubt I know fully. However, I might share some possibilities.

First, my earlier years in ministry were marked by my need to be in control. I had learned the mistaken doctrine that God no longer worked directly in our lives, so as the Positive Thinking Rally speaker charged, “If it is to be, it is up to me!”, then it truly was up to me. If it was up to me, and I believed it was, then I had to keep everyone abiding by my rules. I learned life is up to God; not me ( Romans 9:16).

Second, I didn’t know others thought as good as me. Arrogant? Well, of course. However, I’m simply telling you how it went. It took me a bit to catch on that others did know better than me. God showed me through the blessing of one failure after another that I couldn’t manage lives; and He could. I was forced to yield by giving Him back the keys to His kingdom which I had stolen through mis-assumption.

Finally, I was clueless as to the size of God and myself. I thought He was somewhat smaller than I now envision while I assumed me to be somewhat larger than I really am. Putting us both into proper size perspective was a rude awakening. I know. I know. I should have seen it coming. But when it’s up to you to make the church function well, then you take on a lot of other ill-logical stuff.

Today? I am less agitated. As a matter of fact one might find me rather patient in comparison. I’ve learned to trust Him and my colleagues. Both are brilliant; really. I don’t have to fight people who wish to fight me. I’ve gotten better at surrender. Arrived? Oh, not ever. Progress? Absolutely. I’m gaining confidence to go ahead and be me in the kingdom…..but I’ve resigned from being Master. Another guy already had that job.

3 comments:

Jon said...

Amen

Stephen said...

Your honesty is refreshing. I'm no expert, but would be willing to say that it is that honesty that has allowed you to progress in such a way. Thank you for sharing and God bless your ministry!

Stoogelover said...

At least you are willing to change and be changed. I worked with an older minister for 7 years and he was right on every aspect of everything he believed and we (the churches of Christ) were right on every aspect of everything we believed (except, of course, those 30+ different sects of "us" who disagreed) so there was no need for change. Nor was there much need for God.