Last evening one of my bacchas spoke to me about how he was struggling with listening to certain men of God. That he’s seen them preach AND how they live when they’re not preaching and the difference was off-putting at least, faith shaking at most.
After listening to him, our wonderful Holy Spirit did two things:
1) He brought to mind when I had gone through a similar struggle. I remember one particular – very very gifted – preacher whom I had seen preaching fabulously and then getting off stage and being very different – arrogant, manipulative and seemingly anything but holy. After struggling with what that meant, God had told me – “I’ve let you see this so you know what NOT to be, how NOT to live”.
Integrity is how we live when no one is watching. Let our lives when we preach in front of small or large groups be the SAME lives we’re living when we’re alone, with our families and behind closed doors.
2) After said baccha left, God also reminded me how easy it is for us preachers to put people off the Kingdom of God. I genuinely believe most preachers have their hearts in the right place, or at least that they started there. But often pride, ego & other sins come in. Many of us get defined by the gifts the Lord gives us. How well we preach, if we have the gift of healing or prophecy etc. The better we operate the gift, the more danger is there of it going to our heads if we don’t give the Glory back to God Who alone deserves it.
We should be vigilant & always remember that people are always not only listening to us when we preach, but seeing the way we live, hearing how we speak & seeing how we react when we’re not preaching. They’re looking at the FRUIT we’re bearing. Are we loving, are we patient, do we exercise self control?
It’s difficult to stay on the straight and narrow, but it’s not impossible with Jesus. When we fall, may we always be humble enough to ask forgiveness – both from Jesus and any human we have hurt or let down.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are awesome and help us build the church. But we can also lose souls if we don’t have the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) – our own soul being one of them. May we always fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith & ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with His Fruit.
*Baccha – Hindi word for Child
**Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”