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“I Feel” Versus “I Know”

Feeling and KnowingRight now, I feel tired. I also feel that I’m spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere, and that I’m failing to meet the expectations of others. I feel bogged down in things that need doing, and I feel inadequate to the tasks that loom largest in my life – be a great husband, a great Dad, and a great Pastor.

Right now, I know that God’s approval matters more than the approval of others. I know that He equips those whom He calls and that I am adequate and can do all things through Him who gives me strength, even when I’m tired. I know I am redeemed, forgiven, and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit. So I know that moving forward in faith is the right, best, and wisest thing to do.

Living by what I feel is a deadly choice. Living by what I know, based on the unchanging truth of Scripture, is a life-giving choice.

I know the One in whom I trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return.

~ 2 Timothy 1:12 NLT

Photo by Hani Amir.

Pastors Should Always Wear Long Sleeves

I once filled in for a Pastor who had a beard. His church was a bit upset with him about something and over lunch, two little ladies wanted me to point them to that passage that declares Pastors should not have facial hair… stop searching, it isn’t in there. Neither does the Bible address the issue of sleeves, but it does encourage us to be in touch with people by having a shepherd’s heart.

Let me start from the end… In order to be effective, you need to influence people. You can’t influence people if you’re emotionally closed off, so you have to open up and wear your feelings on your sleeves. When you wear your feelings on your sleeves, you’re going to get hurt, which is the necessary risk you have to take to influence people. Shepherds feel pain often, CEO’s don’t… at least not as much.

Here’s another thought. If you’re going to wear your feelings on your sleeves, wear long sleeves. One of the most destructive forces wreaking havoc on ministries is an uncontrolled temper. If you’re not careful, you’ll snap to judgment and react in anger. The necessary counterpart to compassionate ministry is patience with people… so wear long sleeves, be long-suffering.

We’re hopefully growing past the old idea that the Pastor should remain in a defensible ivory tower, but we still need to be tender too. Now… don’t criticize me for writing this!