“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,with all lowliness and gentleness, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
My heart wrenched as I read the words above this morning. It was as if the curtains of my mind were pulled back revealing a large screen on which were depicted the many ungracious moments I have served.
The times I mistakenly thought that being a “leader” meant I was above those who served with me…forgetting that Jesus was a lowly servant.
The many times I failed to have a gentle spirit when frustrated because someone was late, things didn’t go the way I anticipated, or I was tired and burned out.
How often I lacked patience, thinking my vision was more important than those I was serving.
The times I made multiple changes to my ministry forgetting that the months of considering and planning for these changes had prepared me, but that I had failed to properly prepare my team and give them time to adjust to the upcoming changes.
The times I found my more immature team members annoying and didn’t want to deal with their “drama”, when instead I should have lifted them up in prayer before Almighty God and been a proper mentor to them.
And finally, and most disturbingly, I was reminded of the hours I spent criticizing pastors, ministries, churches, and other Christians
Most often I did not know the whole story
Most often I didn’t even know them personally
Most often my criticisms were based on assumption and what I had read in the news or on various websites – and mistakenly assumed this was accurate.
Yet, would it have made it right had I known the whole story, the person/people personally, or had accurate information?
God didn’t make me the “Christian Ministry Police” and the time I had spent criticizing others was completely wasted when I could have spent that time praying for those in need or encouraging someone who was feeling down.
Building up, instead of tearing down!
Somehow it is so much easier to fall into a pattern of walking unworthy of our calling. It is easier to be critical, impatient, frustrated, and to tear down than it is to be humble, gentle and patient.
It is easier to serve out of pride rather than serve with grace.
Today I purpose in my heart to walk worthy of the call!
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