Thursday, March 17, 2016

When Negative People Call, What Do You Do?

I do not like conflict and I try to get along with everyone.  I realize people are created differently with different opinions and desires from mine.  However, I do have a problem with individuals who believe they are the “voice” of the church body.  Just this week one of our staff members was questioned about a certain aspect of the worship service.  Basically, the person berated our staff member in front of a group of people. 
Over the last several months, I have heard from several minister wife friends who are suffering in silence because of the attacks on their church and/or the church staff from individuals within their congregations.  When people question/attack the ministers or ministry of the church, ministers’ wives all too often must bite their tongues, keep their mouths shut, and paste a plastic smile on their faces.  It’s not fair!

Maybe I should not even touch on this topic or vent my frustration here but I believe each of you have experienced this same negativity within your churches as well.  So why not address it and find out how you handle these frustrating situations.  Besides, I am on a “cut back on junk food including chocolate” diet.

When negative people call, I just go ahead and bite my tongue.  This poor organ of my body has so many scars.  On the other hand, my mind is racing.  “Did God call you out as His servant in ministry?” “Didn’t you vote to change (you insert your issue) at the business meeting?”  “Oh, you don’t like the direction the church is going.  Well, where were you when we had several open church hall meetings to discuss the direction?” Girlfriends, I really try to tame my tongue and even put my brain in corral but sometimes . . . well, I fail.

Recently a person came to me and told me that she was back after visiting another church for several weeks.  My response was “Oh, I didn’t realize you were gone.”  Okay, this probably wasn’t an appropriate answer but I DID have a smile on my face. However, the reason she came back is that the other church taught a “watered-down message” and “the music was too modern.”  I smiled from the inside out and replied, “See, you will always find the Truth taught unashamedly here and we have a wonderful blended music program.  Our church staff prays each week for people to be saved and they also ask their Heavenly Father for direction to their ministry.”

One thing ministry life has taught me is that negative people are all around us.  They are there to question and attack.  They never seem to say anything positive and always doubt the church staff they called.  What is sad is that it is not the people who we are at battle with but Satan and his demons. My comfort comes in knowing that my Savior experienced the same attacks and doubters.  They tried to trick him.  They tried to dishonor him.  They even tried to kill him and end his ministry.  However, my Savoir won.  He willingly went to the cross and died for my sins and for the sins of all the negative people in our world.  However, Jesus arose and will never be defeated.  He stands with his arms open wide for all of us, even the negative people.

So what do we do when negative people call?  We love them like Jesus does.

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