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  • Strength for the Journey: Part III

    Posted on August 22nd, 2012 rhonda No comments

    Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

    For His compassions never fail.

    They are new every morning . . . .

    Lamentations 3:22-23

    “I forgive you, Rhonda.”  That’s what I said to myself at the end of the day.

    The text for the Sunday sermon (8/18) was Numbers 11:10-17 and Matthew 4:2-20.  The pastor spoke about the fact that each member of the body of Christ has work to do in God’s kingdom.  He said two things that made a big impression on me.  First, he said that if you get to a point in your spiritual life where you are disconnected from the sermons you hear in church, it means that you either have to start doing your work in the kingdom, or step up the work.  Then we’ll start to be refreshed.

    I’ve been writing for a while now about feeling spiritually tired & disconnected.  The sermon served as confirmation to me.  I had breakfast with a brother in Christ on the Friday before service; and he told me that, to the extent that he ministers to other people, his spiritual life is flourishing.  Second, Pastor said that listening to other people’s complaints tend to eat away at one’s spirit; and that there comes a point when we might have to tell people to stop sharing their complaints with us.

    Later on in the day, I was talking with a group of people.  Two themes emerged.  One theme was deciding that “enough is enough”.  The second was the idea of letting the past go and starting fresh.  By the end of the day, I’d had a revelation.

    Several years ago, my Pastor asked a group of us to take on a leadership role in the church.  We did.  We poured in a lot of time and effort.  Yet, several people were unhappy with the way we discharged our duties.  Some left the church.  Some hold resentments.  Some still complain.  Some still question how decisions were made and ask for details about who did what. Now I know it all took a toll on me.  It made me doubt my pastor, my co-laborers, and myself.  It also made me distrustful.  It also made me resent the congregation.

    It also felt guilty.  I’ve spent the last year re-playing the decisions we made and trying to figure out what I could have done differently – and I keep coming up empty.  I did the best I could with the information and knowledge I had at the time.  When I knew better, I did better.  I don’t know whether my (our) offenses are real or imagined, but I just decided to forgive myself, stop rehearsing the past, stop allowing people to vent their frustration on me, and move on.  That’s my phrase of wisdom for today.  Move on.

    “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards that which is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

    Philippians 3:13-14



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