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  • Writer's pictureShonda C


I remember it like it was yesterday. My husband was talking to an old army buddy who had recently become a pastor and opened a church. My husband remarked on how much his friend had changed. Of course, the friend gave all the glory and credit to God. But when he made the following statement, it stopped me dead in my tracks:

"You can't be in ministry if you don't love people."

I never forgot this statement because I remember laughing to myself (like Sarah Gen 18:12) and thinking, "Thank God I am not called to ministry....People get on my nerves!"

Little did I know what the Lord had in store.

[37] Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [38] This is the first and great commandment. [39] And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [40] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

To do what God has called you to do, it is not enough to love God, you have to love people too. But you must beware that the demands of ministry can often separate joy and work, leaving us full of dread. Because the work of the ministry is more of a calling than a career, 0ur level of work and joy is linked to our spiritual, emotional, and mental health.

Although I was madly in love with Jesus, it seemed that getting myself off my mind and loving people was a foreign concept to me and therefore very jarring. Once the initial discovery was made and the joy of wanting to help others set in, it still did not get easier. It was A LOT of work to keep the love alive. One way that helped me was to see people through God’s Eyes.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Jesus is affectionate for your people. He was thinking of them on the cross. He now intercedes for them as His precious, blood-bought people. That’s the measure of their worth in his eyes. If Jesus gave his blood for them, we can give our hearts to them.

But that does not mean to live your life off balance trying to be a people pleaser....Remember Jesus also told the disciples:

If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. (Matt 10:14)

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