Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Help Us Be Faithful, O Lord - Not Liked

I have always prayed that I'm faithful in my decisions, both as a pastor/district superintendent, and as a disciple of Jesus Christ. I also pray I never make decisions to be liked. But I'm sure from time to time I have failed in doing so - and for that I will always need to confess and repent.

Blogger Maria Dixon is writing some very good blogs about the work of General Conference and what's going on behind the scenes. Her latest blog, The Games We Play, is, in my opinion, spot-on. She communicates very well, she looks objectively at the issues, and says hard, tough, but fair and faithful things about our thoughts and methodology in making hard decisions that help our denomination be as faithful as it can be in making disciples for Jesus Christ. She ends her article this way:
Let’s hope that those intending to play the game obstruction understand the lives they hold in their hands both inside and outside of the Church. If you are against the plan, vote no because you are against the plan. But if you know the plan is a good plan, then the only statement you make by voting against it is that your ego, your way, and your ideology are more important than the Church. If you choose this route, just own it. Don’t hide behind righteous indignation or moral superiority—just call it what it is—your move in the game of destroy the Church. - Maria Dixon, "The Games We Play"
While she is talking about more specific issues (and you might not agree with her specific opinions on the matter), her words should apply to EVERYTHING we do in the name of the Church. We must be as transparent as possible. We must be faithful as possible. We must be prayerful as possible. The question can never be, "Do I like this?" The question has to be, "Is this faithful?"

Even if it's not our idea. Even if voting for such might provoke a lot of criticism. Our task is not to be liked, but to be faithful.
Almighty God,
Give us armor this day so we can act bravely and faithfully,
willing to face tough issues head-on.
Help us replace arrogant presumption with your will,
knowing that it might come from those we might not agree with.
Remind us that to align ourselves with your greatness
often requires us to adopt humility.
As we do the work of the Kingdom today,
may we listen with our ears and our hearts,
and be faithful to what you may be saying to us today -
even through those we don't find ourselves "aligned" with.
Remind us that they are your children too - thus our brother and sister.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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