Time to Stop Killing

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. Isaiah 61:1 King James Version

When I surrendered to the mission field in 1999, God gave me this Scripture verse as my ministry verse. However, this verse applies to every person who has been born again through the precious atoning blood of Jesus. We have been given a mandate by Jesus Himself that we are to spread the good news of His unconditional love to everyone we meet. We are also to bind up the brokenhearted by our loving words and actions. All too often, we fail Jesus in this area.

This is not a devotion about killing people in wars and killing people by shooting them or stabbing them. It is a devotion about those of us who claim to be Christians and who go to church and kill the ones sitting next to us because we don’t love and encourage them. It is about killing our pastors by our criticism and judgmental ways. Yesterday, I watched a program on television and listened as Chonda Pierce, a well known Christian comedian, gave her testimony. As she gave her testimony, it was easy to see that it came from her heart.

She told about being committed to a mental hospital for severe depression. One of the statements she made really touched my heart and I cried because it is so true. She said that she found more acceptance in the group setting in the mental hospital than she has in all the years of being in churches. How tragic that is and what a sad commentary it is on those of us who claim to be Christians!

Chonda also told about a man who was in the same group as she was. This man had tried to hang himself. This precious man was a pastor who was discouraged and defeated. O people, it is time that we stop plunging the knife into our pastor’s hearts by our criticism, sarcasm and holier than thou attitudes! Joyce Landorf Heatherley, a well known Christian author and speaker, said on one of her teaching tapes, “What would happen if every person in the church would encourage and affirm their pastors?”

When is the last time you encouraged your pastor? When is the last time you told your pastor’s spouse how much you appreciated their service to you? Have you thanked your pastor’s spouse for giving up precious time with the pastor so that your pastor could spend time with you? Have you invited your pastor and family out to lunch? They may not be able to go because of other commitments but just knowing that you cared enough to invite them out to eat will put a smile on their faces and happiness in their hearts.

Let’s stop killing our pastors and the people we sit next to in church by our judgmental and holier than thou attitudes. We would all do well to remember that we are not perfect so we have no business criticizing and judging our pastors. There was only one perfect person who ever lived or ever will live and His name is Jesus!

We must never forget that our pastors are human just as we are. They cry and they hurt just as we do. They need to be reassured that Jesus loves them unconditionally just as we need to be reassured that He loves us unconditionally. Above all, we must remember that it is not enough to just pray for our pastors and families; we must love them by encouraging them and comforting them. Please love your pastor and family as they need to know that they are appreciated and loved.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.heavenwardbound.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

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