have you hugged your pastor today?
"The scribes and the Pharisees have succeeded Moses as teachers; therefore, do everything and observe everything they tell you. But do not follow their example." —Matthew 23:2-3
Many belong to churches where pastors, priests, and ministers do not live holy lives. Some pastors have not even turned their lives over to Jesus. Some stifle the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19) and are even unknowingly used by Satan. What do you do under these circumstances? Do you leave the church? No, you don't leave the body because of one part. Do you confront the pastor? Probably not, as confrontation usually does not lead a person to repentance, salvation, or life in the Spirit.
Your pastor needs love and respect. Give him God's kind of love: unconditional love. Sure, you and many others may have been hurt by the pastor. You are grieved to see your pastor working for rather than against the devil. Nonetheless, love him unconditionally. God does, and He's calling you to do the same. Love is "the way which surpasses all the others" (1 Cor 12:31). "Love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Pt 4:8). Love is as strong as death (Sg 8:6, JB). "Love casts out all fear" (1 Jn 4:18). "Love never fails" (1 Cor 13:8).
It's still possible that after all that's happened, you may not be able to love your pastor. Pray for that grace.
Prayer: Father, may our churches be characterized by unconditional love. May I begin a wave of unconditional love. May they know we are Christians by our love (Jn 13:35).
Promise: "Blessed is the Lord Who has not failed to provide you today with an heir! May he become famous in Israel! He will be your comfort and support of your old age." —Ru 4:14-15
Praise: Harry was involved in drug and alcohol abuse and sexual sin. He found his way back to Jesus and the Church after reading a pamphlet about Mary's apparitions.
Reference: (Open your heart and life to the message of hope contained in our Gospel of Life retreat Sept. 11-12. Call 937-587-5464.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009
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