Why Cause Grief? – Sunday Thought For The Day
The following was written for February 16, 2014 Our Daily Bread by: Dave Branon
Pastors make an easy target for criticism. Every week they are on display, carefully explaining God’s Word, challenging us toward Christlike living. But sometimes we look to find things to criticize. It’s easy to overlook all the good things a pastor does and focus on our personal opinions.
Like all of us, our pastors are not perfect. So I’m not saying that we should follow them blindly and never confront error through the proper channels. But some words from the writer of Hebrews may help us find the right way of thinking about our leaders who are presenting God’s truth and modeling servant leadership. The writer says, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account” (13:17 niv).
Think about that. Before God, our pastor is responsible for guiding us spiritually. We should want that burden to be joyous, not grievous. The passage indicates that causing grief for the pastor “would be of no benefit” (v.17 niv).
We honor God and make things better for our church when we give honor to those He has appointed as our leaders.
Our gracious Father, thank You for the person
You led to our church as pastor. May we provide
encouragement and support, and may You protect
our pastor from error in both word and actions.
Pastors who preach God’s Word need a good word from God’s people.
The relationship between spiritual leaders and followers can sometimes become troubled. Today’s reading reminds us that maintaining a cooperative spirit is necessary in order to benefit from those who provide spiritual direction for us. Our first response should be prayerful submission: “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive” (Heb. 13:17). But other passages of Scripture also emphasize a heart of servant leadership in those who provide us with direction: “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor he who is sent greater than he who sent him” (John 13:16). For both leaders and followers, an attitude of mutual submission should prevail: We are to “[submit] to one another in the fear of God” (Eph. 5:21).
READ: Hebrews 13:17-19
17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
19 But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here