Better not Bitter

Monday, August 9, 2010

Things happen.

Things happen that puzzle us, confuse us, frustrate us. Life and ministry throw curve balls. It happens to the best of us. Then sometimes we make mistakes. Big ones.

It's how we handle those failures and disappointments that shape our character.

King David had some bad stuff happen. While he was out taking care of business, some folk came along and kidnapped his family and took his stuff. They even kidnapped the families of those who were working with him. What thoughts would run across your mind if you're out taking care of God's business and you come back and realize all you have is gone?

There was talk of killing David but scripture says David encouraged himself in the Lord.

David recovered all and from the number of Psalms attributed to him, I would conclude that he became better and not bitter.

When things don't go the way we planned, when we fail miserably, when we're embarrassed by those failures, when our name is dragged through the mud, at that very moment you have the choice of being better for the experience or bitter.

Many of us become bitter.

We don't see our part in the ordeal.

Maybe we rushed ahead of God, maybe we heeded unwise counsel, maybe we didn't count up the cost, maybe we refused to see; whatever the reason becoming bitter is a dangerous option.

Bitterness will espouse new doctrines to support itself. That bitterness reframes our teaching, our ministry, it taints the table we spread before the people.

In order to be better it means owning whatever part we played in the situation and then asking for forgiveness and then forgiving ourselves.

Good leaders own their mistakes, learn from them and become better.

Man and woman of God choose to be better, not bitter.

Lifting you in prayer,

Pastor Lisa


Not Yours! Mine!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shortly after my husband and I began serving as pastors, I heard the Lord say, "You have no people; I have people."

I had to respond in the words of my sister, "You sho' right."

Being called to lead is a call to serve.

It's a call to serve His people.

His Word declares:
Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully; Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation). And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror's crown of glory. -1 Peter 5:2-4 (Amplified Bible)
The people that we serve, the leadership staff that serves along with us are not pawns in a personal rise to the top or self-proclaimed quest to go to the nations. They are not stepping stones to "next levels/dimensions."

The people we serve are souls; precious souls which Jesus Himself gave His life. As leaders we watch for their souls according to Hebrews 13:17. When we lose this focus, when those around us are only valuable if they can advance our cause or agenda and are dismissed if they don't serve our purpose; then we find ourselves in a very dangerous place.

It's time to do a heart check.

As leaders we have to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) against pride and fleshly agendas. We are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart, with all our soul and all our mind. When we fall out of love with our Savior, what is sacred becomes profane and we mishandle the holy. Touch not my anointed also refers to those in the pews; not just those in leadership positions.

When Holy Spirit gives gifts to men it is for the perfecting of the Body; not our personal desires or aspirations. When personal agendas skew your perspective, it's time to pray. It's time to return to our first love which is Jesus Christ.

Leaders, you have no people. They're not yours. They belong the Father. You belong to the Father and will be judged on how you handle them. Don't forget, we are called to serve and advance a spiritual kingdom; never our own.

God is saying, not yours...mine!


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