I have observed that worship leaders, pastors, and church planters, live in a constant state of being either angry, depressed or delusional, perhaps because we are often handling angry people.
One might say, “I am neither angry nor depressed.”
Delusional: “An idiosyncratic belief or impression that is not in accordance with a generally accepted reality.” (Wordreference.com)
Ministry is hard. Handling angry people is hard. Dealing with our own emotions is hard.
A passionate, emotional pastor planting a church with opinionated people is bound to encounter a conflict or two … per hour.
The conflicts are not the problem. The responses usually are.
Harsh words in the midst of conflict are like weeds in an untended garden. They crop up everywhere until they finally take over and choke out any fruitful conversation. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. Sinful people blame-shift.
I received an ugly text from someone recently. Texting seems like a strange way to vent anger. It was from a disqualified pastor who had committed a horrible sin against his family and his church. I was helping the church to deal with the mess he made. He didn’t like what he had perceived was my advice to them, so his cell phone attacked my cell phone with viral words. That is my explanation since I cannot fathom a friend speaking to me in this way.
My emotions rose, and I was angry at his impudence, arrogance and ignorance. My response? I texted, “I love you, Dave.”
I wish I could tell you that my response to attacks in the past has always been with this kind of graciousness. I also wish I could tell you that Dave repented and confessed his venomous attack on me with his carelessly keyboarding thumbs.
Instead, Dave continued to defend his “justifiable anger” by text message. He said that pagans treated him better than I did. Suddenly, he implied that his righteousness was deserved, and I was worse than a pagan! I am glad that I didn’t react.