The Word — Changing the way we look at a situation
Published 12:30 pm Saturday, April 30, 2022
May a preacher vent to y’all this week? I struggle with people. I know for fact I ain’t the only one either (can I get an ‘amen’ on that truth?) I find myself getting in my own way when it comes to thoughts and frustrations brought on by other people. One of my all time favorite humans…a man who has always cared for me, watched over my mind and heart over these past 20 years told me, “Ministry would be a lot easier if it weren’t for the people” (hahaha). And, it’s not just in ministry. Every.single.job has frustrations caused by people. Selfishness, laziness, complaints, venting and more; people can just…well…they can get on your nerves can’t they? Thanks for allowing me to briefly vent, but what can we do about these struggles with people we all face? In James 4:7 he says we should, “Submit ourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
This simple verse can help a whole lot. Maybe it’s time for you to take a knee and submit your mind and heart to God and His desires. Maybe you’re needing to get out of your own way. Maybe you need to forgive those around you and heal your own heart. Maybe you need to stop trying to change others and instead change yourself. Maybe you, like me, need to stop trying to please everyone and realize you only serve an audience of One (God and God alone).
Each week I walk through the seats of Kenbridge Christian and pray over them before the services. I pray for all who attend to be opened to whatever God knows their hearts are in need of. I pray the auditorium be a sanctuary for people in need. As I walk around and pray, I could get so frustrated picking up candy wrappers, used communion cups, food pieces from gold fish or chips, half drawn on prayer cards and bulletins. Then God humbled me, and my frustrations about people dissipated as I heard a whisper say “at least you know they were here.” I have to resist the devil attacking my thoughts on folks who are on their phones during worship, for those talking and passing notes, for those who leave trash behind, etc. I need to submit myself to God and simply be grateful. Why? Because “at least I know they were here.” They could have skipped worship but didn’t. Maybe my problem with people is simply myself. There aren’t there for me but for God. So…I should be there for them through Him and be ever-so-grateful that at least they were there.
Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at email@example.com.