Pastors, Complain Not
By Elsie Hu, June 10, 2017 05:06 AM
God once sent Moses to bring His people the Israelites out of Egypt to live a life free of slavery. He also commanded Moses to lead them to the promised land -- Canaan. However, God said to Moses, "Not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times." (Numbers 14:22, NIV) From these "ten times" mentioned by God we can tell that the Israelites complained so much that it became their daily habit.
Complaint doesn't please God and it spreads like a plague. Once someone starts complaining, more people will join. It can even affect the church. Moreover, the reality in some churches is that not only believers complain, pastors also grumble about their positions on difficulties in serving or current situations with hardships. But no matter why, it is not wise for pastors to complain. Preacher Wang in central China said that one cannot blame the church for the trouble faced in serving. It is the same with people who can't blame road workers for their stumbling. "The reason people feel tired serving God is the same. It is not God they're serving; it is the church; the brothers and sisters. The church makes them tired and heartbroken, so they're the servant of the church and believers," said Wang.
The Lord Jesus said, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:30, NIV) The main reason some people feel exhausted serving is that it is not God's yoke they're bearing. Wang made an important point to free people from weary service: "We need to know it is God we're serving."
"Would The Lord Jesus really let us die in the church? Would he want us to sacrifice our family to serve the church? Wang believes that serving is flexible. "You can choose to visit or not. For example, people visited my family today when my children needed to go to school. My wife was also not available, so it was just me. I certainly wouldn't keep them company until I dropped my children off. This is the fundamental rule. However, many people confuse the relationships today and blame God, asking 'Why don't you keep me?' It's because they chose the wrong path."
Wang said that he receives a lot of criticism regarding not visiting the church and believers. He believes that he does not serve the church or believers, but Jesus Christ. Therefore, the focus of serving is whether God is pleased. "The Lord Jesus would move me to visit if it was in His favor. And brothers and sisters won't leave me if He is with me."
Wang stressed that those who serve must know who they're serving and how He wants us to do it. "I would die joyfully if He wanted me to serve Him in death. Jacob, one of the 12 disciples served God in death, but John did it by living." Service comes in various ways, but the most important thing is to not complain about the church, believers, or the system. "If someone is capable, change the system and the social condition."
Wang was criticized by brothers and sisters in his church for a while. Some even threatened fire him. "I didn't complain because it was fine," said Wang. "I can say this because it is what I did. I didn't complain. When many people throw stones at me, it is time for me to soar. Isn't it rising by standing in the face of many stones? Joseph's brothers throw him in a pit and Potiphar's wife also hurt him. However the more people hurt him, the higher his position became."
Wang encouraged those who serve in the church to adjust their attitude by looking up to Jesus in a positive way and not by looking at the church and its people to walk the path of service. "The forty years of the Israelites coming out of Egypt and the wilderness was God testing them so that they could learn to submit to God. It was a good thing that the 40 years of trials trained the Israelites into a brave army to fight in Canaan. Some people despaired and collapsed during the hardships. So it can be good for churches to bear hardships. People need to change the situation instead of complaining."
Translated by Grace Hubl
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