The Word — Confessions from the preacher

Published 9:02 am Sunday, September 25, 2022

Over the past year or so I have found myself struggling with “peopling”. I feel fairly confident I ain’t alone. There are certain times, certain days, certain locations, certain places where I find myself…well…trying to come up with reasons to not go, not talk, not deal with people. Am I alone in this feeling? Do you find yourself getting irritated with just the thought of certain people? Does a certain name make you go “Ugh”?

Are there events/places where you feel anxiety crawling up your neck when you think about it? Are there mornings where you feel like staying in bed or at home if for no other reason than: I just don’t want to “people”? We become sick of hearing the constant whining and complaining. We’re so over hearing the same story again and again. We are tired of hearing the same song, different verse. We just don’t feel like peopling.

I’m there. I feel this.

May I take this confession a little deeper? **sigh**…I found myself recently venting to my wife and saying…and I quote… “Ugh, I hate people”. Ouch!

What the heck?!?! I am a preacher for crying out loud! Of all people, I should love all people! I should encourage myself to get over it. I should kick myself in the seat and fuss at myself and read more scripture and encourage myself to repent and seek forgiveness for having such thoughts, right?!?! And, why do I feel I ain’t the only one who has said this before. Does that make it alright and ok? Nah, it doesn’t.

Morgan Richard Oliver, in the book: The Tears That Taught Me, said: “You don’t hate people. That’s your pain talking. You love people. You hate the fact that the genuine strength of your love has been manipulated, mishandled, or misunderstood in the past which makes you fearful to love and trust to that extent now.”

Hmmmm. “It’s the pain talking.” Wow. Y’all know what? I believe this to the fullest. We allow the pain caused to hurt us and make us take it out on others. We allow the pain caused by one to be lashed out on others. We allow past hurts to make us callused toward others. Silence the pain from talking. The hurts are real. The pain is legit. However, the pain doesn’t own you. Jesus challenged to Love God and Love Others (as we love ourselves).

Don’t hate people. Love them like Jesus. Take time, as Jesus did, to get away from “peopling” every now and then. Spend time away in prayer and fill your tank back up so you can pour into those in need.

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at jamescameronbailey@gmail. com.