Confessions of a Pastor part 1

ImageTonight I taught the third installment of the teaching series “AVENGED.”

I won’t give much away, but its a metaphorical message using the story of the Marvel Comic Book Character Thor. And in the message I trace the ‘developments’ in his life.

You may want to read the first two chapters of 1 Peter in preparation of hearing the message.

But I bring up a topic in the sermon that I really didn’t have time to flesh out. And I thought I’d work through it here.

All of the problems in the church are either caused, empowered or allowed by Christians. And some of them seem to be recurring, continuous problems that don’t go away. They don’t go away because we don’t grow from them. So they will continue to happen until we grow beyond them… at which time they can stop happening.

The same is true in your and my life. We have recurring problems that seem to rise up out of our own sin, disfunction and trouble. Once we get past the problems in us… we grow through the pain. And only then will it stop.

But some Christians seem completely unwilling to grow. We say things like, “I don’t like change.” when what we really mean is “I want to be in charge of what happens to me.” Or maybe, “I don’t want God to change me.”

So my confession is that sometimes I find it difficult to like all Christians. I mean, I understand the reality of loving everyone. Love is patient, kind and not self serving… But to like everyone is a different thing.

When someone’s selfishness, anger or greed that has been around for years continued to hurt those around him/her… We shouldn’t like it. And I have a hard time liking them personally in the process.

So I forgive the behavior. I love the person. But I may not really like them very much.

And its really not ‘them’ that I don’t like. Its the normative reality that the behavior doesn’t change. I can’t stand that. I can’t stand that someone can have the same anger, frustration, greed, selfishness that hurts over and over and over without changing it. I don’t understand it.

I want to be an agent of change. I want to help others change. I also want to change myself.

But the norm for many of us in Christianity is that I 1. Get Saved. 2. Look forward to Heaven. 3. Stay the same sack of sin, selfishness and strife that I have always been.

And that stinks.

So Christians, lets change. Lets be closer to Christ tomorrow than we are today. Lets love more, worship more, give more and grow more.

Lets crave spiritual growth so much that we can taste it, see it, smell it, feel it and ultimately live it.

Only then will be each become the people we were created to be. There is a lot of change between where we are and where we need to be.

But God is more than willing. The prevailing question is… are we?