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Which is Harder?

June 30, 2015

Some stuff sounds easy, but is difficult in real life.

A couple of weeks ago we had our denomination’s geographic Annual Conference.

Part of that includes a Retirement Service with commentary from those pastors being honored for their years of ministry.

One shared this, and like the others in this series it’s not just for clergy: “Love the people and avoid negativity.”

Those two actions go hand-in-hand.

“Love the people and avoid negativity.”

Which is more difficult for you?

I’ll admit the “avoid negativity” part sometimes feels impossible for me. As a former Bishop of ours said, we live in a Culture of Criticism. And it’s only gotten worse in the decade since she said that.

To be honest, I get worn down by it to the point of great despair. And on a fairly regular basis.

“Love the people and avoid negativity.”

Which is harder for you, and what do you do about that?



From → Uncategorized

  1. Hey, speaking of Loving the People, I remember that Bishop and was anointed by her after a devastating disappointment in my ministry.

    Definitely it is “avoiding the negativity”! I, in my current living situation, am SURROUNDED by it. Anything I add to a conversation is met with, “Shut up, you don’t know what you are talking about.” Areas of expertise I have written about, studied at great length, or did the former and continued research in the area is not to be expressed by me because I can’t possibly know all that I know. I am sure that part of this is that I haven’t sold an article in the past ten years. But I was called stupid long before that, even when I was in college (I went back at the age of 41 to get my degree and graduated at 46).

    I wrote a detailed and long 2-1/2 page answer to this question. Once I finished (three hours later), I was apprehensive about posting the entire answer and will just put the bottom line:

    The answer to “what do you do about that?” is that I use my Upper Room (when I have it), often reading the surrounding set up and lesson of the scriptures offered (haven’t had one lately), I have my DVD’s of the service from the Sunday (my balance is such that attending right now is tricky), making the most of those eight hours I have alone Sunday to Thursday, and coming to this blog when I treat myself to the internet to do social rather than research time. I also talk to someone, be it a friend, someone (colleague) in ministry (lay or ordained). Just as I would listen to someone in grief support, they listen for me. They know I don’t come for advice, but to leave it on the floor, at the door, at the “X” on the PM or chat…

    In a situation, I push the love as far into the negativity as far as it will go and then take care of myself. Not selfishly. (If you want the long version, I will be happy to put it in the body of an email. Right now, the dentist is waiting for me!)


  2. Thank you for this, and again, I’m in great company and so is my humble little blog! And yes indeed I’d be interested in the full-length version.


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