A blast from the Past

by pastortimfowler

I don’t always have people fall in love with me after they meet me. Sure, that is hard for you to believe if you have ever met me, but sadly it is true. There are a lot of sick people out there.
Four years ago there was this person that was coming to my church and they liked me. (Wouldn’t it be a great time to stop on that positive note?) After a while he/she, (identity protected here), disagreed with me on a biblical issue and decided to leave the church. This happens no matter what church you go to because not everyone wants to hear the truth. Now I am talking about God’s word, not mine.
So I have not heard from this person in almost three years when all of a sudden I get an email from him/her. I won’t go into details about what was said, but basically I ruined everything and I suck.
Years ago, when I first felt the call to go into the ministry, I went to my pastor and asked for some advice. I asked him to give me a verse of scripture that he would say that every pastor should take to heart. So without hesitation he gave me this verse: Ezekiel 3:9 (GW) I will make you as hard as a diamond, harder than stone. Don’t be afraid of them. Don’t be terrified in their presence, even though they are rebellious people.”
Every time something like this happens I remember that verse and remember over and over how Jesus was persecuted for doing good. Although I am far from being Jesus, I do try my best to love people. Even if I don’t like you, I try to remember that God made us all very different for a reason and I don’t have to like you to love you.
That verse sounds a little tough, but often pastors are given tasks to say things that don’t sit well with others. Often the message that we preach is one that causes people to be challenged in the way they may be living and things that they may be doing.   And, because what we hear that convicts, it often causes us to get defensive, so, God will harden pastors to protect them.
It would be easy to get really hurt or offended by someone like this but I won’t fall into that trap. God never said that this would be a popularity contest and He never said that everyone would like you or agree with you. He only said, as much as possible, love people. Love covers a bunch of sin. Christians need to remember that we are not to be afraid of offending people. And like a parent, we can’t take what an upset child says too seriously, we can’t get to caught up in things that immature people say about us.
One of the things that I look forward to, is seeing this person face to face. I know that may sound weird, but I like to see people who are mad at me. When I do, I try to go speak to them as if nothing ever happened and smile as if they were my bestest friend. I might be apt to live out this scripture a bit; Romans 12:20 (GW) says, But, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed.”
I just think that if someone is still mad after three years, they have the problem, not me. So please feel free to send me a blast from the past, you just might be a subject of my next blog.

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One Comment to “A blast from the Past”

  1. I actually JUST read Romans 12:20 the other day, and thought, “how cool is that?”
    I’ve had my own issues with people who have had their own issues with me in the past…did you follow that?! I know, like with you, it’s hard to believe anyone would have an issue with ME!!
    🙂
    I found during the times of attempted arguments, that if I would smile and speak kindly and calmly, it would irritate that person all the more. I would like to think that they were more irritated because they were feeling guilt and shame for acting so foolishly.
    I find it to be MOST difficult to LOVE (truly love) EVERYONE. Some people are so ‘unlovable’…but, I’m working on it!
    If we all saw eye to eye on EVERYTHING, God would have a bunch of robotic, boring children. I believe it’s about being open minded and accepting of each others differt views and opinions….agree to disagree.

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