But here’s the thing about all that acceptance and affection I get from the people I minister to: they know I’m not bound by it.
They’ve seen me accept the very real possibility of them disliking me, even as I say what they need to hear.
I was preaching to a roomful of inmates once, and one of them came up to me afterwards, and said, “You know, you were all up in my business, telling me about why I do the things I do, and what I think of myself, and I got all mad about it, because I knew it was true, and all that frustration started coming out, and I decided to come over here and punch you.
But then I thought about it, and it took a lot of heart for you to say all that. And then I figured that you must have respect for me, to tell it like it is, and expect me to be man enough to take it. So I decided to come over here and give you a hug.””
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.
Father my heart now yearns to find a group of brothers, if only just a small group, that I could turn to and could walk this road with. Even though there are friends, Lord, it is far from the same. Even though I have so many amazing sisters to turn to, I find myself desperately short of brothers. Not brothers in strength, for me to look up, not brothers in weakness, who I must carry all the way, but brothers who I can simply walk with side by side. That I may pray over them and guard them where they stumble, that they may pray over me and guard me where I fall.
Lord place in me a servant’s heart, that I may yearn to not only do your work, but wait on you. That not a word would pass from my mouth that does not glorify you and encourage those around me, that a single action would not be performed but those that would exalt you. Give me a heart to dare to have faith, that it may be counted to me as righteousness. I know Lord that to have these things I can’t do alone. So give me brothers, my God, that I may seek after you with, day after day, week after week.
By the authority and grace of your name,
Ephesians 6:19 NIV
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
That moment when you are in total awe of someone’s faith, and their faith somehow builds your own.