Thursday, May 15, 2014

Preacher, Stop Complaining!

Sit down and buckle up, preachers! What you are about to read may be discomforting. But after some reflection I am convinced you will be thankful. I am a preacher, too, and just like you I have had my ups and downs. I, too, have thought about quitting the pulpit to sell temporary insurance rather than encouraging people to invest in the eternal type. So please understand I can sympathize with your frustrations.

I am of the opinion that there are times when preachers need to quit whining and get to work! We complain about the weak members. We complain about the salary. We complain about what churches will or won't do for us. We complain about the treatment and the expectations of the membership. We complain about the lack of appreciation. We complain about the folks who are not as passionate as we think we are. We complain about the fishbowl. We complain about nearly everything that goes with preaching! Men, read Philippians 2:14. This applies to preachers as much as it does the rest.

So how about this, preacher? 2 Corinthians 6:3-10

We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

And what about this, preacher? 2 Corinthians 11:23-30

23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.

It seems to me that compared to first-century preaching we have it pretty easy.
1. We are getting paid to do a job that we should be willing to do for free.
2. We are actually treated better and praised more often then most people on the planet.
3. We are members of the kingdom of God and we are on our way to heaven.
4. We get an opportunity to make an eternal impact in the life of every person we meet.
5. We are loved with an everlasting and perfect love from God which should be our primary motivation for our occupation - and if it is not, we need to stop preaching.

We have the greatest job in the world. If you can make a living as a preacher, you need to pinch yourself everyday and remind yourself that such a reality is beyond wonderful.

So stop complaining, preacher. Honor God. Imitate Jesus. Lift up the church. Love People. Preach the Word!

"For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin." ~ Hebrews 12:3-4


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