The older I get the more my attitude changes. As I experience new events my outlook on others who go through those things changes. It is painfully easy to have one view from an outside perspective, but when you are thrust into the middle of the situation you begin to see it from an entirely different light.
I went to Liberty University for my college education. I loved it there. I grew in my faith and was challenged in the classroom. It was a great Christian school for me to attend. However, like anything else I was not pleased with some elements to it. We had chapel three days a week. Some of our speakers were amazing, but others were rough at best. There would be some speakers you would hear were coming and just groan because you already had an idea of what to expect. I became skilled at evaluating the speakers. It was a habit to pick apart what I liked and did not like. I was the consumer of their product, and I was going to make sure they had to earn my approval.
Things have changed since then. I now am one of those people who regularly speak out of God’s word and tried to encourage, enlighten, and challenge other believers. It’s intimidating. Now a Sunday goes by when my stomach is not tightened up in knots whether I am doing my usual teaching to teenagers, or filling in for the senior pastor behind the pulpit. Inside I become a nervous wreck every time. My mind drills through various thoughts, but there is one thought that holds the greatest claim to my mind every Sunday. “I hope there are people out there today that are praying for me.”
Maybe if I had spent more time praying for the speakers in chapel rather than expecting another dud I might have seen God do some pretty amazing things around campus. We forget how important it is to pray for our pastors and people who are about to teach us something out of Scripture. We forget the spiritual warfare they are facing as they prepare to bring us God’s word. We forget just how much they need our prayers.
I have no business being a critic if I have never even bothered to pray for the person. I still struggle with this. Even at my former school as I hear some of the speakers who come for the chapel. I still shake my head at times, and assume their message will be a flop. I still need to pause and remember that if I hope people pray for me before thinking of criticism then I better be doing the same for others.
This post is short because there really is not much else to say. All I can encourage the reader with is to pray for those in their lives who are teaching out of the word of God. You really have no idea the struggles they face.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” 1 Timothy 2: 1-2.