Something Against A Pastor?

Do you have something against a pastor? The latest “Leadership Magazine” has articles on what to do when a pastor sins by adultery, stealing, and addiction to pornography. But there was little on helping the average pastor who is just human, making poor judgment calls on some of the hundreds of decisions he makes over a year. Pastoral “success” is often measured by the latest sales course or leadership seminar some church member critic has taken. These critics rarely evaluate their Shepherd by God's Word. The laymen's focus should be on the pastor's purity of life, love for Jesus, prayer life, a servant-heart, winning the lost, vision, communication skills, an encourager of the flock . . . caring, helping, warning, lifting the sheep. Re-read 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus for God's words to pastors.

We are all in need of forgiveness. We have offended, or will offend someone, for sure. As pastors we are sinners, shepherding sinners. If I missed a visit to a sick member in the hospital, I got whacked. Or, someone I counseled quotes me out of context, I got spanked. The more sheep in God's flock, the easier it is to mess up. We need forgiveness from the Lord, and our people. Yet, some people won't forgive. I've had people say when I asked for forgiveness, “Oh I'll forgive you, but I can't (or won't) forget It.” That's not forgiveness! If God defined forgiveness that way, we would all be in hell.

Perhaps you have something against a pastor? God says “If you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15). That's a promise! In our marriage we discovered about conflict, “Only by pride cometh contention” (Proverbs 13:10).

Living with unforgiven sin is deadly dangerous before God. God is long suffering and tender to us all. But there are awful warnings and judgments: “I am a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation” (Exodus 20:5). Your unforgiven sins can damage your family up to reat-grand children! What a price for others to pay because of you. And you can't pray your way out of it; one must repent and make restitution. We must forgive as God forgives, and grow on. “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as Christ forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). Pray daily, asking God to bless your pastor!