I was talking to a friend, recently, who told me that they used to live the "easy life". By this they meant- their life was really a mess, they never talked about any of the issues, they knew they should but it was just easier not to say anything and just go on with their life.
They have now come to the conclusion that their life is still a mess, there is still a lot to work on, they want it to change and it will never change if they don't do the hard thing and talk about those hard things.
How are we to love people and irritate them on to love and good deeds if we never say anything? As difficult as it is to hear that we are wrong, we must allow others to be in our lives enough to have the liberty to say something, and then we must be willing to hear it, receive it and understand that it was not easy for them to say the hard thing in the first place.
God created us for relationships; relationships to help us be who He would have us to be. We need to hear the hard things and say the hard things- in love; Gal.6.
Here's a good reminder- for pastors, but we can all take something away- from Tim Challies.
The following is an excerpt from a sermon by Matt Chandler.
"Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. (1 Timothy 4:15)
It seems that if we’re not careful, our faith can retard. What I mean is that Paul tells Timothy here that you are to be ever growing in these things. You are to be ever growing to the point that from year to year your people can notice your growth.
Can I plead with you? It seems to me that I meet a pastor whose heart is on fire for the things of God, and his brain when it comes to doctrine is just non-existent. Then I meet a pastor who has a gigantic head and they have this tiny, shriveled little soul. Some of that’s dispotion. I get that. But Paul is pleading with Timothy to let your growth be evident to all.
I think you should know your Bible a little bit better than you know your football team. I think that’s basic. People say that they’re not a good reader but can give me football statistics. They’re brilliant when it comes to 18-year-olds throwing a ball, but they can’t devote themselves to the Bible.
Paul says to pay attention to yourself and your teaching.
Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16)"
A good reminder to those of us who have followers- including our own children. Can they see the growth in our lives?
Here's another good one to read.