This is a picture of my ride. Took 3 years riding in a non-air conditioned 95 Honda Accord with 160,000 miles then saving up enough to afford my Nissan Maxima. When I first bought it I washed it weekly and cared for it in ways that would frustrate my wife Someris sometimes.
This is my car this week. It’s so dirty my kids decided to write notes on it. Internally I was livid and I pulled Alyssa aside and told her to please never do that again. My initial anger was immediately towards my kids. But as I reflected on the visceral anger I felt deep inside I realized that my anger was misplaced. What I was truly angry about was the fact that my kids simply exposed something I have been ignoring! Who, I was angry with initially was them but I should’ve been angry at myself more than anyone.
Why do we do that? We get angry at the things God allows to happen that ultimately expose areas we have either ignored, hidden or refused to address.
As a Pastor I oftentimes have to bare the brunt of other people’s feelings. Many times the feelings are misdirected and misplaced. As a Pastor all we are trying to do is what my kids did for me, reveal something that needs addressing. If you desire growth in your spiritual journey, confrontation is inevitable and critically necessary. The challenge is to not grow frustrated with the people, circumstances or things God may be using to produce growth in you!
If you have people who LOVINGLY correct and challenge you to look and behave more like Jesus, LOVINGLY accept their presence in your life. These people are more committed to loving you into the person God wants you to be, versus desiring your good opinion of them.
Pastors typically fall in this category. Be gentle to their hearts as they care for yours. As a parent I have learned that in order to raise up children who will become contributing members of society, I oftentimes am not liked for the positions I take or the decisions I make concerning their development. But my love and desire for their future’s are greater than how they might temporarily feel about my actions or how my decisions in their childlike moments are perceived.
In order for a seed to produce fruit it must first go through the process of agitation. The dirt produces the warmth needed for the seed, it needs water which compacts the dirt. Then and only then the seed experiences the growth that only the agitation can provide.
For those I have agitated purposely or by accident, I love you and my desire for you is always growth!