Please read the story of Balaam as found in Numbers 22:21-35. That’s the only way the rest of this post will make sense. It’s also the only way you won’t get offended as you read my later comments (I will use a word found in the King James Bible). Read the story (Skip to v 28 if you’d like), then I have a few comments.
And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. 22 And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. 24 But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 25 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again. 26 And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. 28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, “What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said unto the ass, “Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.” 30 And the ass said unto Balaam, “Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee?” And he said, “Nay.” KJV
The story goes on that Balaam’s eyes were opened to see the angle who told him he could have killed Balaam and let the… uhhh…. donkey live. To this day I don’t know if I’m more amazed that the… uhhh… donkey spoke OR that Balaam answered the… uhhh… donkey!
Anyway… now to the point of this post.
The question we should ask, every time we hear a message, should NOT be whether or not we like the person through whom God sends His message… but is the message true? Bottom line… EVERY preacher is an… uhhh… donkey to one degree or another. The question is this, is what he says true?
On behalf of all preachers everywhere, please remember a few things. Preachers are human. They have personalities and personality flaws. They are imperfect, prone to failure and mistakes like everyone else. They say things they regret and do things they wish they hadn’t done. They can be moody… hard to deal with… hard headed… loving… patient… merciful… gracious… and crabby. When everything is said and done, all preachers are… in the words of the KJV… uhhh… donkeys to some degree.
This does not give the preacher a license to be a jerk or conduct himself in a harsh or negative manner. It is just a call to ask everyone to remember that preachers are just as much a work in progress as anyone else. Just as much a work in progress as you are!
So instead of expecting them to be perfect… encourage them and pray for God to conform them to the image of Christ. Remember they are in a fish bowl with a lot of people criticizing, critiquing, and evaluating everything (And I do mean everything) they and their family says or does. There are a lot of church members who think they are the preacher’s boss… and no one can live up to that.
This post is a two way street. Preachers and Pastors need to watch their conduct and walk so as not to be a stumbling block to anyone regarding the Gospel.
If your preacher has a flaw or something that needs to be changed in his personality… don’t attack him or disparrage him to others… go to God in prayer on his behalf. Let God do the changing. Rather than change preachers, ask God to change your preacher.
Just a thought… from an… uhhh… preacher. (Snicker, wink!)