How to Use Disappointment to Control People
"Don't Hurt Me" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
OWN THIS CARTOON!
Our pastor is the kindest man you could ever meet. And in my opinion he's the best pastor in the world.
He works hard to make us better Christians. He says he works 24/7 and I believe him. How¬†does he get a break when he's basically on call all the time? And it's all for his people. He sacrifices himself for us.
Not everyone appreciates what he's got going here. I once brought a friend to a service and he said that he didn't like how he yelled and screamed and turned red and sweated when he preached. He thought he was a control freak and found it all too ‚Äútriggering‚Äù. Whatever that means. He¬†has no idea because he doesn't know our pastor¬†like we know him. He really loves us and wants the best for us. He's just like a good father who spanks¬†his children‚ it hurts him more than it hurts us. Even though it really does hurt, he reminds us that it was we who broke his heart and therefore God's heart and we had no idea how much pain and sorrow we caused. I'd hoped that my friend would be moved to repentance too but instead he hardened his heart even further. His blindness shocked me. I should have listened to my pastor long ago when he said he's not good for me. Now I'm ashamed to say I believe him. I repented to him for waiting until I had proof my friend¬†was a bad influence before¬†breaking fellowship with him. I never learn.
Which is why we absolutely need him. He tells us we are wayward sheep so we must be contrite and should not delay. Jesus could come back any day now so we need to be ready. This is why he fires both barrels when he teaches us. We are in peril and there's no time to lose. I say bring it on!
He makes us faithful and obedient. Isn't that what we want? Isn't that the goal? I mean, look at the results! The church is doing great because everyone gives above and beyond their regular tithes and offerings. He makes us give generously. As we should! I'm glad he does because otherwise I would keep¬†what belongs to the Lord and hinder God's blessings. Plus, we all work hard. There's no lack of volunteers for Sunday School teachers and greeters and women working in the kitchen at the potlucks and other events and men maintaining the building and going over to renovate his house and even the youth are constantly out canvasing the neighborhood to witness to people and invite them to church. Everything runs smoothly because he makes sure they do. Now that's a good leader!
No, he's not a taskmaster. He's just not! He doesn't have a gun to my head forcing me to do things against my will. Just because we do everything that's expected, as we should, it¬†doesn't mean it isn't voluntary. No, he pleads with us until he breaks our stubborn wills so that we actually want to do what he tells us. As he should, he makes us ashamed of our sinfulness and stubbornness and laziness which is a good thing because it drives us to repentance for¬†our evil ways. As¬†we should. He loves us all so much and cares for us so much that it would break his heart if we didn't. We know he loves us because he tells us he does. So we do exactly what he guides us to do because it makes him happy which makes God happy. Which is what we must¬†want.
I mean, isn't this how you parent? If I get angry with my kids they just wait 'til it blows over. But if I look¬†really sad¬†and hurt and show how much they've disappointed me and how they basically spat on my expectations and how they've crushed my dreams and wounded my soul‚ well that just kills them and sometimes even makes them cry. As it should.
Speaking of crying, this reminds me. Just last Sunday our pastor cried in front of everybody. That's right! He cried! A man! Why? Because he heard some people in the church were talking about how controlling he was and it just tore him apart. Why would they do that to him? He did nothing to deserve that. I confess, it made me angry that such ungrateful people would hurt his feelings. So he invited people, with¬†tears, that if they didn't like it here they were free to leave. So leave now! Nobody left. We all stayed. Because whiners and complainers are cowards who resent being told what's good for them! After his passionate sermon, where he preached about how their pastor Moses was on the holy mountain with God but the Israelites made the golden calf and caroused in sin and then were destroyed for their rebellion when Moses came down and caught them, we all went up to the front where he beseeched us to humbly get on our knees before him as a gesture of submission to God and repent of our rebellion and to renew our vows to serve the church wholeheartedly and without question and to totally trust the leader that God had assigned us. Every single one of us did it. We all cried! We didn't hear of any complaints after that.
Listen‚ I know how stubborn and sinful I am. I'm deeply flawed and broken. He reminds us of that every single week and at every single meeting. As he should. And I don't want to fool around with that. I'm so ashamed of my sinfulness. As I should be. I should be more serious about my faith. So I really appreciate him motivating me week after week to live up to his expectations of me. After all, he knows best! I mean, isn't this why God gives us pastors‚ because we are hopelessly lost and need divine direction? We can't hear God's voice like he does. He's the one who got all the education, training, and experience to be my spiritual father. I need him to have authority over my unruly heart. I need him to raise his voice to get my attention. I need him to compel me to do what he knows I should do. I need him to make me a perfect vessel of God's will, which is what I should desire with all my heart, soul, and mind.
Because he loves me. I absolutely know he does! Or he wouldn't care about every single little detail of my life! Right? I mean, just like the Lord, nothing escapes his attention. Nor should it! We will be held accountable for every single sin, both great and small. He's so Spirit-filled that he has more zeal for my life than I do! So I'm forever indebted to him for that. As I should be.
We just can't disappoint him. That would really sadden him just like it would really sadden God.
And we shouldn't want that to happen. Should we!?