HE Started it

It just happens.
It probably already has…
if not, it will.
You’re involved in ministry.
You give,
and give.
You invest yourself
your time,
your ideas & creativity,
your family,
You give yourself to the people that God’s called you to
But it still happens
A few of those recipients get restless,
stop liking what you’re doing,
discontinue their involvement
and arrive at the conclusion that YOU,
yes YOU,
are the reason their lives are not going well.
You’re the one who is called to love them!
You’re the one who HAS been loving them.
Of course you’re human,
of course you’ve failed the perfect-test,
but you LOVE them!
You’ve given & given to them and many, many others.
But … it’s still your fault!?
Now what?
A wonderful pastor’s wife & I had a short but formidable
conversation about this recently.
Should you…??
Try to separate yourself & your personal life from your ministry?
Keep the two apart?
I think NOT!
If you’re truly giving yourself
(and all those areas of your life that are listed above)
then it’s impossible to separate ministry from self.
If you love people … that’s who you are … it’s you!
You… anytime, any place.
Not limited to “classic ministry moments”
Love’s gunna hurt…. it does, it will, it already has.
But love is wonderful!!!!
The call of God to ALL His followers
(not just “ministers”)
(and as Toby Mac said many years ago… “Love is a VERB!”)
We have to keep smiling,
& knowing that it hurts,
all the while keeping our arms open to the “hurter,”
so they’ll realize they’re always welcome back into our lives
continue fighting to keep our hearts open to everyone else,
whether we know them yet or not,
whether they “deserve” it or not (in our opinion)
because, quite simply…
JESUS keeps on loving me
& I often find myself
wearing the “hurter” badge in our relationship.
“We love because He loved us first.”
1 John 4:19

14 thoughts on “HE Started it

  1. Great word friend! It reminds me of the Pastor's Wives panel you and I sat on last summer and it was you and me against the rest on this point.

    Love is risky… but the benefits FAR outweigh the risks.
    Love you. Thanks!

  2. Whenever I feel hurt by someone, I have to remember how much I've hurt Jesus and then respond to them like He would. Great post, thank you.

  3. that is real good and encouraging to read…we have to continue giving more of ourselves because this is God's work!

  4. Your 1 John quote at the end of this blog is incorrect; it should read:
    We love HIM, because he first loved us. (emphasis mine)

  5. well said, Netta! could sum it up with Love your neighbor as yourself, and Turn the other cheek. Give your coat AND your cloak. God is so good. and so smart! So perfect for all of us. I totally agree that you can't separate ministry and your "self." It IS yourSELF that is doing the ministry, and loving them, and following God's will. Keep on keeping on! You guys are such a blessing.

  6. "If you're truly giving yourself then it's impossible to separate ministry from self." That's an awesome way to put it! This post definitely encouraged me to not put up walls when I'm ministering to people, but be transparent and show them the real me: changed by Christ. Thanks Netta!

  7. Wow! This is so true! I've worn that badge and I can't forget how Jesus still loves me. I have to do the same.

    Thanks, Netta!

  8. "& I often find myself
    wearing the 'hurter' badge in our relationship."

    Wow, very well said! God just recently flipped that on me about a week-and-a-half ago. He showed me that the things others do that bother me, I do in my relationship with him. Thank you, this was very good, and very relevant.

  9. 1 John 4:19 is really something that God has been teaching me lately! Thank you so much. It's extremely encouraging!

  10. Michael,
    I'm sure she used another translation to stress her point. But, since you're into correction, here's one:
    If you can't say anything kind (with or without your 'correction') than don't say anything at all. 😀

  11. So good! There's an old (older than Toby hehe) song lyric that's been running through my head lately that relates well… it's from when Bob Carlisle was with The Allies… "It's never easy, no it's never easy to love. It's a chance you take, a choice you make, it's always worth it, but it's never easy to love.

    I also heard a sermon on the Beatitude, "blessed are those who mourn". To mourn you first must love. Sure, you can avoid mourning… but you have to cease loving… YUCK!

    Thanks for NOT compartmentalising your life and further for making me a part of it. LOVE YOU!!! HUGS!

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