I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.
Thoughts for Today:In 1 Peter 5:2-3, Peter provided instructions to those God placed in positions of leadership in the Church: "Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." Paul met these standards exceptionally well, however, that did not prevent some people from criticizing him.
The best proof any pastor can offer is the commitment they have to preach and live out the Word of God in their lives. Yet, regardless of the fruitful evidence Paul offered in these areas, in Corinth there seemed to be a group of people who demeaned both his work and his person. We see this same condition in our own churches today. Satan knows that attacking the Word of God is ultimately pointless. Why? Because people are drawn to the truth. However, it does not stop him from attacking the people who preach, teach, serve and lead. It's how Satan operates -- he disgraces the person in some way -- and thereby discredits God. The body divides, is fractured, and finally disbands. It was happening to Paul and the church in Corinth; it's occurring right now in our churches today; and it can be the personal experience of any of us who choose to become involved in ministry.
Questions to Ponder:There can be times when a pastor's life does not provide ample evidence of the work of God's Word in their lives. However, in many cases, the real issue is not the imperfect humanity of God's shepherd, but Satan's attack upon the church. Is Satan attacking your pastor and church? What example will you be for others? Will you join in the criticizing or take a godly approach?