A Pastor once told me there’s truth and there’s grace, but if you’re going to make an error in judgement, err on the side of grace. So I do. I almost always choose Grace. Because of that I’ve been called gullible, and a pushover. I’ve been told that I allow people to use and take advantage of me.
And maybe that’s true. But I’d rather stand before God and account for being helpful and kind than stand before him and answer for the times I selfishly didn’t help someone.
And just because you offer help doesn’t mean you condone actions.
Think of it this way. If someone is playing with fire, you might say, “don’t do that, you’ll get burned.” They continue to play…they get burned.
Quick…what’s the first thing you do?
Treat the burn. Get them out of danger. Show compassion. Care. Love.
Then have a, ‘what we’re you thinking!?’ moment.
I’ve seen way too many leaders fail – moral failures, mental illness, etc. I’ve seen way too many Pastors need to step down. I’ve seen Pastors take their own lives.
As easy as it is to get angry at their failures — and believe me it’s easy, we have to be compassionate.
When the unthinkable happens, we have to remember our Pastors and leaders are people, too.
I don’t know about you, but when I’ve sinned and grieved the Holy Spirit, I feel guilty. Guilt usually leads to remorse and repentance, but that guilt valley is a deep – and lonely – one.
In my deepest valleys, I’m most grateful for the friends who stick by me.
So… here’s a challenge and a few tips from someone who’s walked in a few valleys herself.
Challenge: Do you want to be known for being compassionate, forgiving, and trustworthy?
So…Here’s what I needed (and what I believe anyone going through a valley needs):
1. A safe place to worship. I found myself at one point without a church home. I was so grateful for a friend who took me to church (a few towns over from mine).
2. Meals and money. So many times, a step down from ministry means a loss of income and it might often mean a relocation. Organize meals, do what you can to provide financial assistance.
3. Prayer. When a believer has done something wrong, they know. Falls can be public…and hard. Let someone know you’re praying.
4. Someone to believe in you. Let’s face it, our leaders got to be where they are (or were) because God gifted them. A failure doesn’t remove the gift. I’ve seen leaders fail, and make a comeback. Having been there, I’m eternally grateful for the people who believed in me.
5. Chocolate chip cookies. Because who doesn’t sometimes just need a cookie?
If you go this grace route, don’t fault the “truthers.” They want justice. They’re not wrong, they’ve just chosen another stance.
In the end, we’re on the same team.
The same Pastor taught me that. #TeamJesus