Pain floods my heart often.   Ministry can open your eyes to the true horrors of the fallen world around us. I ask the intern, “What’s the best part of ministry so far to you?”

“People…” he says.

“And the worst?”

“The hours…” he mumbles.  My answer? People.  People are both the best and the worst part of ministry. And what’s worse… is being around and knowing people’s hidden secrets and then realizing how horrible of a person I am without Christ too… again.  And again… and again…

I realize that some women in the church would be a better pastor’s wife.  A better mother to my kids. A better bible study leader.  And a better woman.  Hands down.  But then I read something in my husband’s upcoming sermon.  And shame floods me. I realize… this… this scripture is what it all comes down to in regards to life in ministry.

James 1:19-27

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.  Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.  So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.  For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.  You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.  But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.  Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

So… here’s the deal.

Am I listening without always having to speak back?

Am I processing my answers before I quickly fire back?

Am I slow to get angry or am I jumping into drama full-force?

Am I listening to God’s Word in regards to my life?

But not just that… am I listening to His Word and then DOING IT?

Or am I just listening… whether it’s during the sermon or my personal study time… and then I close the Bible, sigh with happiness and just walk away?

We cannot… whether we are in ministry or just attend church… cannot just let it go in one ear and out the other.  We cannot.  It’s got to stick.  Otherwise… what’s the point?  What makes us different and not hypocrites?

So…we have to decide, “Okay… I can do this…” no matter how scared you might be with what God is asking us to do. Can we do it? It’s gonna be hard… but I think we can.

What is He asking you today?