Tuesday, August 7, 2012

It's Not Always the Sermon

My husband and I arrived at church on Sunday morning in our usual form. We smiled, greeted others, as we leisurely walked ourselves to the usher for our morning bulletin and further conversation.

A friend of ours was standing chatting with the usher; she leads a ministry in our church.
As we approached, she swung around, immediately demanding our speaking support in her ministry.
Now we had both been very much involved in this ministry in the past, but circumstances had bid us to move on.

While my husband had been coming to a close in his seven years of study at our local Christian college and Seminary and was pursuing preaching engagements, while working full time, I had felt called by the Lord to leave this ministry to pursue writing the book I have now just completed. (Well, pretty much completed.)

Earlier, I used the word ‘demanding,’ and I did not use it lightly.

Her tone and her physical presence were just that….demanding.

My husband remarked that he had never in his life had someone so much in his face. She literally stood within inches of both our noses, with the intention to rope us both in to an evening of teaching.

She insisted we both decide on a date and would not take no for an answer.

There is only so much available time in each person’s day.
There is only so much one person can or should be responsible to commit to in order to do the Lord’s work well and to honor Him.

No one should ever feel bullied into serving upon someone else’s demands.
 No one should ever feel pressured…which, by the way, I did. Big time!

I am embarrassed for my friend and her actions on Sunday morning, and I pray she has come to realize that is not the way to approach others for assistance.

But I am also saddened by my own response and how I allowed the incident to continue to run through my thoughts for the remainder of the day.

While I had remained courteous in the beginning of our conversation, I admit that I did finally respond rather brusquely at her constant insistence.

Sometimes I am not sure what bothers me more;
the fact that I responded poorly under her persistent pressure, or the knowledge that I continue to feel justified by my actions.

A heart for the Lord does not come easily. I was reminded of this on Sunday.
Not by the sermon,
Not by words of wisdom from anyone in the church,
But by my own anger in response to another’s poor form.

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