People Will Talk

If you're a pastor, people are talking about you.

That's just the way it is. Might as well get used to it.

Some people are remarking on the quality or content of your latest sermon, or relating to someone their appreciation for a hospital visit, or telling of your kindness in listening to them or praying with them. People are talking about your perseverance in the face of adversity, or your patience with difficult people. They may not always say such things to you, but trust me, people are saying some nice things about you.

Unfortunately, people are also saying unkind things about you. Untrue things, even. But if you're a pastor, it's happening. I'm sorry; that's just the way it is. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. Some people can't help it. Some people think it makes them feel better, or look better, if they say such things. And some people find comfort in listening to those things, and coming to believe them themselves. As I said, I wish it wasn't so, but it is. It's been that way from the start; Jesus warned his first apostles that there would be times when people would think they were doing God a favor by trying to destroy them.

There are also people who are talking about God. People are remembering you in prayer, asking God to bless you, and help you, and hold you up. While the first category I mentioned can be hugely encouraging, and the second group can be unspeakably discouraging, this third group matters most. They are the ones who can keep compliments from going to your head, and keep criticisms from destroying your heart.

So take a few moments to thank God for the people who are praying for you, those you know of and those you don't. And say thank you the next chance you get to the people who talk about you to God. And if you know a pastor, be THAT person to him or her more than any other.

1 comment:

  1. And David Foster has a great tweet: "You can't control that people gossip. You can have input as to what they gossip" ( I would add, simply, that you can have SOME input as to what they gossip.