““My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.” Hebrews 12:5 ESV
The pastor at a church I attended for a Bible study made me cry one day. Not in front of everyone, but when we sat in his office together with the door wide open for all to see and hear. I was happy about the door being open because I learned long ago it’s wise biblically for a woman and a male pastor to never be behind closed doors alone without at least a window, but if you might guess I wasn’t thrilled he made me cry you would be wrong. I couldn’t have been more thankful.
His love for Christ, dedication to his calling as pastor, faithfulness to God’s Word, and boldness and courage the Holy Spirit had given him were the perfect ingredients for something I wish I saw more often within the Body of Christ and in the world where Christ followers are called to serve also. The truth spoken in love. No matter the cost. No matter someone’s response. No matter the hatred, rejection, hurt, ridicule, tears, anything that may come from the receiver of a message from God given through a vessel yielded to Him. Like the pastor who made me cry.
I had just finished pouring out my heart with the pastor whom I actually didn’t know altogether too well if the truth be known about a couple of people he knew who hadn’t treated me too well some time earlier when instead of demonstrating the fear of man by which we take actions in an effort to make people feel good and please them he chose to fear God and do what was right. In plain English, instead of giving me pity and patting me on the back with human comfort and consolation, he boldly plunged in and helped me to see by the leading of God’s Spirit that I needed to repent not only in how I had responded to the people’s not so loving treatment of me but also for the way in general I had continued for years despite knowing better to respond to people in general not treating me the way I would hope they would. Within minutes, I interrupted his speaking, bowed my head, repented before God in front of the pastor, and finished off my remorseful please with God for forgiveness – in tears.
How thrilled I was once again God loves me so much He chastens me and leads me to repentance and forgives me and grows me in His image rather than abandons me because of His unfathomable love for me. And how thankful I was in a day and age when false teaching or at the very least watered down, sugar coated teaching, and the fear of man to gain the praise of humans abounds that God had used a bold and courageous pastor to further refine me and draw me closer to Himself as He continues His work in me to prepare me for eternity with Him and through me to help build His Kingdom for Christ’s name’s sake.