We are Called

11 Dec

I was recently talking to a friend and the topic of advice came up.  What would I say to a young minister just starting out?

That one is easy … WE ARE CALLED.  Remember there are always people hanging on your every word.  NOT to sound self-absorbed or self-important:  It’s not a “let’s hype the importance of ourselves” kind of thing.  But, whether you know it or not, whether you realize it or not, there is always someone in your world that is watching.  That is listening.  That wants to know if Christ is real and could base their judgement on whether or not He is real on YOU.

Some say “That is an unfair idea!!”  I agree.  I have never met a minister who was/is perfect.  We all make mistakes.  We are all human and if someone watches me long enough, I KNOW I will disappoint them.  But I am called.  It takes a great deal of discipline to remember the things I say and do, the things I post on social media, certainly the things I say from the pulpit of Ebenezer are constantly being weighed against the Word of God.  And, again, I know there are times I fail.

Still, others in the crowd would remind any minister “YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE SIGNING UP FOR!!”  I’ve had people say that to me over the years:  When I’ve had to leave my family on vacation to deal with pastoral care.  When I’ve had to leave my parents, dealing with illness, so I could go and deal with a problem.  To those who believe any young minister “knows what he/she is signing up for” the answer is THAT IS NOT TRUE!!   I only wish I’d been adequately prepared for that which I would face.  But I am called.  And to my call, to my Savior I will remain faithful.

When I turn back to the thought of the day, I am drawn to Hebrews 10:24 …  “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”  Let us be mindful that our words either draw people towards the Kingdom of God or drive them away.  Let us realize that our words either build up others (and therefore build the Kingdom) or they tear them down.  We live in a world where it is so easy to immediately let the universe know what we are thinking (per social media).  It has always been true that we shouldn’t always say everything that comes across our minds.  If that were true, there would be no need for spiritual discipline.  We are imperfect … Fallible …  Flawed …  Our thoughts are so often not God-centered, but self-centered.  Even the thoughts of the best of us.

And here is the irony of it all:  The world NOT ONLY looks toward the lives of ministers to see if God is real … IF Christ is your Savior, THEY ARE LOOKING AT YOU, TOO.  No matter who you are.  No matter what you do.  They are looking …Silently.  And they want to see if He is real.

What do they see in you?

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