Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

being real

pressure………………..

unhealthy expectations…………..

manipulation………………

disapproval………………

a critical spirit…………….

In my experience with ministry, those five things seem to join hands and travel together.   For the unsuspecting Christian they can be a destructive force.  The good news is that we don’t have to give in to them.    But woe to the  one who is dishing them out.   (Proverbs 15:18, 28:25, 29:22)

(There have been times when I have wanted to go to a fellow pastor of a neighboring church and ask him if he is aware of what his “sheep” are doing?  But truth is –  he probably is aware and what he really needs is my prayers.  He also needs me to be an example to his flock.)

Here I am pressing ahead,  striving to live a life of obedience, dying to self, and walking in love when out of  “nowhere”  they show up.

Pressure (ever so subtlety) is applied for me to be who someone else thinks I should be.   Pressure for me to cave to their unhealthy expectations.

Manipulation is right there trying to convince me that I need to do what they won’t do – but think I should do.

I have learned (the hard way) that it is about pleasing God first.    So when I come to the decision that it is not what God wants me to do –  along springs up  their disapproval.

I really want to help people but  sometimes what they want will only enable them to stay stuck right where they are.  Give a man a fish and he has a meal but is dependent on you to give him another fish.  Teach him how to fish and he won’t go hungry.

If manipulation doesn’t work then disapproval and a critical spirit aren’t far behind.  When this is coming from a ‘christian’ my heart is truly grieved.   Oh that Christians would be careful not to be a tool used by the enemy to discourage or tear down another person, ministry, or church.   (Do you think there will be divisions in heaven?)

I don’t know anyone in ministry who wants people to not like them. That is just crazy.  Ministry  is about loving people and helping them to grow in their walk with God.   Yet, sometimes loving them means saying no.

When I am feeling pressure to conform to someone else’s plan I ask God to shine His flashlight on every aspect of my life.  — my motives, my actions,  my personality, my outlook, the way I express myself and the way I portray Him, the boundaries that I have or don’t have, my marriage, my family, the way I treat people, especially how I treat those who mistreat me, even the way I dress, the list goes on…………………..

Psalm139: 23-24    “Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.”

Today I received a letter that one of our youth wrote for  a class.  It was about me and who she sees me to be.    It was so much more than that.  It was confirmation for me to continue to be me.  Sometimes that isn’t so easy because I allow  people to see into my fishbowl.   I am open about those times I fall short and how I handle that.   People see the real me.  I am probably not like their pastor’s wife.  In fact, I have been told that on numerous occasions.   My heart goes out to those pw’s who think they must have this image of perfection on display.

I am all about being real.  I love people even when it hurts.  I am not perfect but I am absolutely in love with the one who is.   That one is Jesus!

And I am blessed to be a part of a congregation that loves God and truly loves people.   We are walking our talk.   After all, that is what it is all about.

til next time

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September 1, 2011 - Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Great blog Gloria 🙂 I’m in full-time ministry and a majority of the people who come through our doors seeking healing have been wounded by Christians. This saddens me because it often hinders them from seeking a relationship with Jesus.

    I like what you said about praying for God “to shine His flashlight on every aspect of your life.” :

    Comment by Kirsten | September 14, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks Kirsten. Some days all I can do is cry with them and assure them that God has a plan and He will make a way and He will some how some way use this for good.
      I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

      Comment by Gloria | September 15, 2011 | Reply


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