Greetings friends, hope you are well and enjoying this winter season as much as I am.
I have a question for you - have you ever been disappointed by someone you really looked up to?
Maybe you've been disillusioned, disenfranchised or even hurt through a series of events in which someone you had high expectations of let you down. It's probably happened to us all.
I can't tell you how many times I've spoken to people that confess a love and belief in God but don't go to church because someone at a church has hurt them, or according to them, behaved in an unseemly fashion.
If this hasn't happened to you, you probably know someone it has happened to.
I would encourage you, as I have the congregation at church, to take on a healthy disposition that prevails over such dysfunctional tendencies.
First, I remind the congregation themselves that all people are sinners, and that no one is perfect, except for God. None of us are God. Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
Secondly, I encourage the congregation not place any person on a pedestal, but to acknowledge and place Christ Jesus the Lord on His throne, that Christ might take the appropriate place of Lord and Master in their lives. When such is the case, then a spiritually healthy disposition may form in which God has the authority in their individual lives. When we have done this and formed a pattern of living life according to God's will, then life becomes a matter of growth, mistake, growth, mistake, growth, mistakes and more growth.
Its tempting for Christians, it can be easy for us all, to be tempted to think of ourselves more highly than we ought. I'm reminded of St. Paul's statement where he viewed himself as a "chief sinner." That's right, the Apostle Paul. He wrote this of himself in the Bible. 1 Tim. 1:15, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all."
Thankfully Paul's understanding did not stop there. He grew to understand and glory in that, the greater his sins, the greater God's grace and love were demonstrated.
Romans 5:20, "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."
As we understand and experience God's amazing grace and love, God wants us to share it with others.
I hope that your disappointments and hurt may be replaced by God's grace and love. It works. Blessings.
-- Pastor Adam Barkley of First Baptist Church of Minden-Gardnerville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.