“I’m tired of hearing how our mission start isn’t growing because of space. Space isn’t the problem, it’s the people running it. If we had people who knew what they were doing running our mission start this wouldn’t be an issue.”
I hate voter’s meetings. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are important. I just don’ t like participating in them. My least favorite part is the people who feel the need to verbally disapprove of everything they are not running themselves. They are the arm chair quarterbacks on ministry: quick to call the plays and criticize the outcome but slow to get out of their chair and get their hands dirty.
It took everything I had to not jump up and shout “That’s a lie! Our church plant IS growing. We have more kids than we have room for. We’ve outgrown our space and need something more permanent, so how can you say something like that?”
Oh, I had all kinds of words in reaction to theirs, but I’m afraid very few of them are appropriate.
The fact that no one else believes them and most everyone supports our little mission start did not matter to me. All that mattered at that precise moment was this person’s words. And I got angry.
I am not a very loving person in the face of comments like the one posted above. I am one of the people they don’t approve of and I have to fight the impulse to not fight fire with fire. At times like that I have to remember to stay calm and pray. I’m a hot tempered redhead who feels the unrelenting need to defend myself at all times. I’m getting better and staying quiet, but my heart hasn’t matched God’s yet and I have to will myself to keep my mouth closed.
Which brings me to the second part of my new memory verse.
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This isn’t my battle to fight, it’s God’s. By remembering that it’s His fight, we can be gentle with others. We can keep Jesus present in our mind, thoughts, heart, and prayers. We don’t have to be anxious. We do need to pray and HIS peace will be ours.
This particular couple speaks out against everyone in church, not just us. They’ve chased away more ministry leaders/volunteers than I can count. They hate change and they won’t leave. I’ve heard it said that the hurt leave, but the mad stay. That is very true.
It’s warfare, in more ways than one. They are Christian, and they are hurting. Remembering that helps me to not take them personally.
So.. we have two steps now in this dance I’m learning.
1. Praise God in all things.
2. Stay calm and PRAY.
What battles are you fighting today that would be better turned over to God? Can you praise him in it? Can you stay calm and pray? Can you feel His peace when you let go?