Love Is the Answer
I am convinced the church suffers today because of the perpetual cycle of pain in the church where there needs to be a perpetual cycle of love. When we get hurt in the church it's damaging. In his book Absolute Surrender, Andrew Murray says, “One of the reasons God cannot bless His church is the want for love. When the church is divided there is no strength.” Leonard Ravenhill once said, “Eighty-five people a minute die not knowing Jesus.” That was a 1959 quote, so I imagine the number is much higher today. Love is crucial.
The need for love is great; that's why we can't give up on the church or its leaders. I personally have no idea how hard it is to pastor a church, but I imagine the burden is heavy. We expect our pastors and leaders to be strong enough to withstand anything—but they cannot be. I don't condone mistreatment of any kind, but I am convinced if we love Jesus and love the church we will continue to pray for our leaders. When we're mistreated, love is the answer. Hurting people hurt people. The person who hurt you might be hurting themselves, but you can ask God to heal you—and them. It's easier to walk around with a chip on our shoulder, gossip, and live in anger. But it takes courage and strength to do what Jesus did—replace anger with love.
Walk the path of righteousness by staying true to God and his kingdom. The sad truth is mistreatment of some sort will likely happen again in church. We are flawed human beings and while it's not okay to be mistreated, we can control how we respond to it. Satan would prefer we wallow in self-pity and anger and eventually leave church altogether. However, Jesus would prefer we stand up to Satan by loving those who hurt us. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Love is the most durable power in the world.” Jesus was mistreated as well, and it was wrong, but he responded with love. So with Christ by your side, bless your leader. Love your leader. Pray for your leader when you can't take it anymore and trust that God will see you through it. Be strong and know one day you will hear your Father in heaven say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (, NIV).