He is either loved or hated. And this by Christians. The love shown by many Christians, many whom he taught the Gospel to, is so very pleasant. They are closer than blood and are sensitive to his needs as much as he has been to theirs. They accept him and they are his silent defenders when the enemy would have him destroyed.
But the meanness the Preacher receives by a few is sometimes absolutely crushing. To these, the Preacher never, ever quite measures up.
“For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.” 2 Cor 10:10.
If the Apostle Paul had his haters, how much do you think the lowly Preacher will have his.
The Preachers I’ve known never claimed to be five or ten talent Christians. In fact, many a Preacher came from the dregs and from brokenness and feels he would be nothing if it weren’t for a little grace shining on him from above. The only reason He went into the ministry was out of love for Jesus who lifted him up when he was drowning.
And so he left his secular work, sold his home and belongings, and left parents and siblings behind in hopes to tell a few souls in this life how they too could see life and hope. Maybe he would save 30, 60, or a 100 in this life. Maybe he would help a church be strong in the Lord and to have God’s love to share with others. When he studied his Bible and wrote his lessons, he hoped to be faithful and to give a lesson to build the church. He didn’t promise much, but only claimed to love the Lord and promised to defend His Word.
And his wife. Oh the Christian family hardly knows the loneliness she feels having to please so many who have the highest of expectations of her. But a good Christian woman, wife or not, is sustained by God and is not broken. My wife wrote something years ago which every Preacher’s wife should read and learn from (Link at bottom)
There are a number of Christians who love him and accept him despite his flaws. They don’t know how much their kindness helps them when the days are dark. Because many don’t know it, but there are a few Christians who look down on him always and think the church would be better if he just went away.
“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Pro. 26:12.
Preacher, don’t go away. Be nothing. Preacher, draw near to God. Preacher, the same Jesus you loved and went into ministry for is the same one who still loves you and wants you to faithfully, and lovingly build His church. Preacher, if you can be defeated by a few mean people who don’t value your service, then you have lost sight of who brought you here. Jesus who lifted you up from drowning, is the one who will lift you up from drowning. Don’t despair. Don’t quit. Pray and be weak. Be weak and humble. Don’t be proud. Be correctable. Be wrong if you are wrong. Seek God’s will, not your own. Seek Christ’s good, not your own.
Said in love for the Preachers and for the precious church family.