Sunday, July 21, 2013
Do not be surprised or upset -
Once upon a time a wise old man was meeting with another old man who was seeking to become wise. The two talked about life and God at length. They also talked much about the "church"; what Christ intended for His Body, and what it has become.
The wiser man offered these humble thoughts on one aspect in particular that was troubling the less wise man, “The other thought I have is this. My wife was formerly married to an alcoholic for many years who has now passed away. In learning how to live with this man she used to say: ‘He did exactly what an alcoholic was supposed to do, which was to drink and behave badly. Until he and the Holy Spirit agreed on some change, it was not my mission to try to change him. I could only choose whether or not to live with him and, if I chose to live with him, how I wanted to live accordingly with him.’ In the same way, the pastor of an institutional church is often doing what he is “supposed” to be doing when he is controlling, manipulating, self-protecting, defensive, and being fickle in his relationships with those who do not support his vision. However dysfunctional this is, it should not be a surprise. If you choose to play in that sand box, fine. But if there is any hint that you are there to try to change or to help that man or that system to change, you are only creating misery for yourself and him unless the Holy Spirit is at work in Him and he is asking for your help. The same applies to most of the members of that church. They are also doing what they are supposed to be doing which is support the system with their tithes and attendance and take, overall, a passive role to ministry. I will simply speak for myself here when I say that I have to be very careful that I’m not trying to be the Holy Spirit and work where God is not working. Yes, I have a longing to see ALL believers experience the freedom and joy of “organic” Jesus ministry BUT, I simply do not have the ability to transform anyone and I can only work where He is working. To do otherwise in the name of trying to help them to change will only bring frustration to me and to them. I find that those whom God is working in have a way of finding me; I don’t need to be at work trying to change them nor do I even need to be in their sandbox for them to come seek me out. So, that’s my two cents which I only offer because you asked. Like I said, take something if it’s helpful and leave the rest. I do feel for you as these types of situations are never easy!”
The less wise man decided it was time to part ways with his wiser friend, go into his “cell”, and ponder what God might be saying to him about all this?