“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to every one who asks you to give an account of the hope that is in you.” I Peter 3:13a (NAS)
I have to tell you about my Friday! My friend (and boss) has many talents and venues of ministry. One is coaching people. It is an avenue of ministry I will soon start to pursue as well. With that in mind, I decided to take Cheryle up on her offer to spend a day coaching me.
Not a bad idea – since I really should be intimately acquainted with what she does for others, so I can explain this ministry with first-hand authority to someone else. Also since, I have signed up for a coach training class, it would be very good experience to see what coaching might mean in the life of another person.
By the way – this coaching is not for sports. Quit laughing, you will not see me on a grassy playing field wearing a black and white striped shirt, blowing a whistle. Really, can you picture me trying to that without getting my hair messed up? I think not! I am talking about doing this in a life coaching capacity to help me serve my God and my church/community better. I am thinking of it as continuing education.
From 10am to 4pm last Friday, Cheryle walked and questioned me through a lengthy series of subjects from my personal worship to my personal health care. I was amazed to discover and uncover some true gems of revelation. Some of the things I discovered, God and I had already been conversing over so my session provided affirmation. Other things took me by complete but wondrous surprise. It was fascinating to review my strengths and equally fascinating to review my weaknesses.
In fact, one personal character trait I need to work on is in the area of defensiveness. I am afraid I can be a little touchy – although I try not to show it. Whether I am successful or not, is for my friends to decide! I explained to Cheryle that one of the biggest struggles I have in that area is giving up my right to be right. Can anyone relate?
I hate being told I am wrong when I know I am right. It can make a big difference if what I am right about can withhold potential harm to someone. But most times, it is just my pride and stubbornness getting in the way. Pray for me as God continues His work in progress on this earthen vessel.
Now that brings me to this morning – oh yea – I am writing this Sunday night. While dressing for church I was listening to a local televised church service. A guest speaker was addressing the congregation. I’d heard him before and always enjoy what God says through him. While, he spoke to all of us – I gather a lot of his sermon was to encourage other pastors.
Here is my perception of his message. I felt one of his main points was to encourage pastors to remain true and steadfast even amidst those that would seek to deter their ministry – even if those people were fellow Christians.
The bold spoken minister encouraged the gathering of clergy to remain firm in times where others sought to tear down what they were trying to build up on the foundation of Christ. He urged them to let God be their protector and not worry about constantly being on the defensive.
Now you and I know that anytime someone attacks us, doubts our judgment or questions our motives/methods, the first thing we do is rise to the defense of what? Ourselves! Be honest, you know you want to do that even if you don’t always do it.
Then the master preacher made a statement I hope I carry with me the rest of my life. He told the pastors to “let God defend you, you defend the sheep and “defend what is defendable.” I’d say that could preach – but it already has!
I wonder what I could accomplish if I quit worrying about what others thought of me, trying to defend my right to be right when I feel wronged, and worried about defending that which is defendable. Defending the “least of the brethren”. Defending the widow and the orphan. Defending the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I guess if I strive to sanctify Christ in my heart the way He deserves and is worthy of, then He’ll prepare my heart to be able to defend the hope that lies within me and deal with any perceived threat to me, all by Himself. I suppose that would free me up to continue to do what is right in His sight and not in mine!
Lowering my self-defenses!