(Written a week ago.)

As I have been reflecting on the most basic of Christian truths–the atonement, I have also been dealing with the most basic of heartaches of a pastor.

A number of years ago, I was asked, what the hardest part of being a pastor was. Having never contemplated that question before, I was surprised by my own answer. I said, “The most difficult part or most discouraging part of being a pastor is seeing people in the church for 10, 20, 30 or more years who still have the same character flaws they had when they first started attending.”

I have reflected on that answer a number of times. Not only in the context of church, but personally asking myself, “why do I struggle with the same things?” And in the past couple of years I have come to firmly believe the answer to my struggle is in my understand of God–His person, nature and character and His work through Christ. I need to know Him better, not just facts about him, but know Him. And as a teacher, I realize that I must point people to know God better.

But this week I have added to the answer, not only seeing a lack of change, but seeing an unexpected change in the wrong direction.

It seems that about ever two years since I have been in full-time ministries I have been confronted with a surprise.

And I pray that my heart will always be broken when I see or hear of a brother in sin. And I pray that I will always use the “opportunities” to examine my own heart, to see if I have become comfortable with my own failings, character flaws, proximity to sin or sin.

I pray that when I hear of a brother in sin, I will have the courage to pursue him, or as Paul says “knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men.”

2 Corinthians 5:10-11 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. (ESV)

Author: Steve

I love to study the Bible and I love to engage with others in learning. I had been privileged to do this on a regular basis through church ministry and through part-time teaching at a local Bible colleges. Helping individuals learn to feed themselves through their own study of God’s Word is joy-giving to me. Influencing groups to do life and church from a biblically grounded, theologically faithful perspective is my passion.

1 Comment

  1. I ache with you brother. I have wondered over the years how, with such a great Biblical heritage in our church and our community, could we have missed the importance of…well…relationships.

    Somehow, someway…we have applied the truths of scripture to our lives and have come out earnestly feeling that being independant is more important than being…let’s say…a member of the collective??

    Listen…life is far to complicated to try to navigate it without people who care enough about you personally, spiritually, and relationally being deeply involved in our lives… to survive.

    I mean are we just that stupid to not think that this central human need for growth does not apply to Christianity…even though it applies everywhere else. Gallup had recently published “Vital Friends” whose treatise is that positive relationship positively effect the bottom line. Isn’t it amazzing that the business world gets this…but us??

    Yes I know that this is not fool-proof because people can craftilly maintain fascades for years. But, those people are the outliers. We base so many decisions on them and not the masses.

    I guess we have to demonstrate this for folks…maybe that is what it is going to take.

    So, breakfast some tiem friend?

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