Wednesday, June 30, 2010

MINISTRY: ITS UPS AND ITS DOWNS (PT. # 4)

Hurt feelings.....hurt. 

How flippantly we quote Romans 3:23 that all sin and fall short.  How deeply does that verse call you out?  Or, does it basically apply to others?

One of the things that I admire about our elders is they have a perpetual grasp about the flock which they oversee.  They understand the sheep have a sinful nature.....and they faithfully include themselves in the mix. 

Do you know what this does for leadership?  Two things.  It gives them empathy for the burdened sinner as well as eager gratitude for His mercy.  When one possesses those two elements there will be beautiful fruit of nonjudgmentalism.  Then it can be said there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.

The Yo Yo of the kingdom is dealing with the variable ups and downs due to our own haphazard, selective, and biased commitment to His commands.  We are a fickle sort capable of whispering we need to hear more about sin....but seldom meaning my own.

Ups and downs present themselves in so many forms.  One of the things we need to hear about sin is that it can be forgiven.  God does for us and we are to do such for each other.  For awhile I was a pretty good record keeper when it came to being sinned against.  Yet, I wasn't so astute in keeping a chart on my own.

So....hurt feelings have opportunity to run free in our halls unless we learn to strike them down.  A reporter interviewed a Rwandan victim whose neighbors massacred her entire family.  But now living beside those same neighbors in harmony she said, Forgiveness is a gift one gives to change the heart of the offender.

Of the many things ups and downs present each of us, one of the strongest positives is the ability to forgive the most excruciating negatives....the sins of one another.  Could it be that sin and subsequent forgiveness have both lost their depth; devastation of the former and absolute miracle of the latter?

Our fanatical undoneness (downs) is conquered by our radical renewal (ups).  Live like it!

1 comment:

Jarrod said...

As I have read these four posts on the ups and downs of ministry, this song is a great pick me up for ministry. The song is called "Still the Cross" by FFH...

Sometimes it seems the world's unraveling around us
We fear it all may one day come undone
We can't forget the One who came before us
To forgive the past and bring hope for what's to come

When it all comes crashing down
The cross still stands alone
And on this our faith is built
And our courage is made strong

When the world falls apart
And you fear for your heart
There's a tower of peace
It's still the cross

So bring your sick and your poor
And your longing for more
To the place of relief
it's still the cross
There is hope for the lost
It's still the cross

Sometimes it seems that I have been forgotten
I don't know how I will make it on my own
But the One who said I will never be forsaken
He still hears my prayer and I will never be alone