Pastors carry many burdens. That is why Paul said, “Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28). Paul had many difficulties. He had physical handicaps, he had been persecuted severely for the faith, he had been marooned on an island with criminals in the middle of a storm. In short, he bore in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus, yet the care of churches weighed more heavily upon him than his own burdens.
Most Christians never think about it, but your burdens are on your pastor’s heart when he is driving down the road, awake in the middle of the night, working at his desk, visiting people, walking down a hospital stairwell, listening to the choir sing, playing with his children, or at any other place at any other time of day.
Here are some points to keep in mind when you do not understand why your pastor does not do something the way you would do it:
- Your pastor must be willing to be misunderstood or misjudged in your eyes because he cannot divulge certain confidences. You see the part; he sees the whole.
- The only thing you have to go on is faith in God and in your pastor’s integrity to do the right thing. It is a matter of trust.
- Because of providential circumstances, your pastor will not be able to do some things you would expect him to.
- Your pastor’s love for your family should not be put on trial because of perceived oversight on his part in a particular matter.
- Your pastor’s forbearance of you will outweigh your forbearance of him.
- Your pastor will be the first to forgive and the last to be forgiven.
- Your pastor’s family is suffering silently with him in a certain matter while others suffer openly and receive necessary reassurances.
- Your pastor will not ask you to sacrifice in a matter that he has not sacrificed in already.
“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you: And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13