Ministry is a calling but in using terms of the world, ministry certainly is a unique occupation; Pastor’s and their families often feel that they live in a glass house where they are always being scrutinized by church members and even by people in the community. If you get involved in any type of ministry, you’re guaranteed to find a ministry’s most common companion—the second-guesser. If you are in ministry long enough, you’re bound to make somebody unhappy. Being a Pastor, though highly rewarding, can be extremely stressful. The quicker a Pastor learns that you can’t please everyone, the better. This is often easier said than done. So is there a secret?
Many would advise to “get thicker skin.” Thick skin is fine, but in order to avoid a smug and even arrogant attitude toward the “Monday morning quarterbacks,” let’s examine some spiritual principles to help all of us, not just Pastors.
First, it’s true that we can’t please everyone. Even Jesus, who by the way is right all the time, had secondguessers. While some thought Jesus was good, others declared Him to be a deceiver. So how did Jesus feel about this? How did He handle such critical opposition even though He was always right? The answer lies in the fact that Jesus knew what He was sent to accomplish. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). Jesus was focused on what His Father will, above everyone else, even Himself (Luke 22:42).
Secondly, Jesus had a plan and kept it. His plan was to please His Father, seek the best interests of others, and act in love (John 15:13). As a Pastor, having a set of principles that is pleasing to God and carried out in love is great medicine for the hurts that often come from second-guessers. Sometimes love is tough because what people are looking for isn’t love, but getting their way regardless of what’s right. However if we’re pleasing to our heavenly Father and truly focused loving others with the love Christ showed us, we can be at peace even when people reject us.
God Bless and GOOOOOO CATS!!!!!!!!!!
Rev. Scott Murphy Murphy is the Pastor at the First Christian Church in Russellville.