The Apostle Paul was given what he described as a “thorn in the flesh.” We do not know what it is, but it was a type of persecution from Satan. He writes that he prayed that God would take it away:
Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
If there is one thing that we need to understand about ministry, it must be this. At least, that has been the case for me. Ministry is not devoid of weakness.
What do we mean by weakness? What does ministry have to do withy weakness? All os us have weaknesses. We do not have all the answers. Only God does. We have character defects. We are far from perfect. We are not always right. Our understanding is limited.
Many of us in ministry may be seeking approval. That is not a good idea. Scripture tells us that we should not seek the praise of men, but praise of God.
Has it been your experience that some people seem to enjoy judging pastors. We need to be able to overlook most of this and forgive the persons involved. But if, let us say, some church elder come to us with some concerns, will we be able to receive what they say? They may have both our best interests and that of the church at heart. We need to listen to them carefully. We should honor them and join them in prayer. If we have made mistakes or misjudgments, we need to confess them and ask for forgiveness. Further, we should seek their help in making the needed changes.
Our flesh may want to deny what has been said because it may show weakness. Perhaps we may lose our authority. This is the old carnal nature rearing its ugly head. In actuality, will gain the respect os those concerned. Why? “In my weakness, God manifests his strength.”