What do you notice about your reaction to people in your ministry?
When I was a pastor, I noticed my annoyance level varied. Sometimes the people in my church, or specific individuals, drove me nuts. At other times, I thought, “Aren’t they charming?” “Aren’t they sweet?” Or, “I love my people so much.”
Over the years I noticed that come the end of the program year in late spring, I tended to have the first reaction more often. I finally learned that I was just tired–or my anxiety level was up. The issue wasn’t so much that they were annoying, but I was annoyed, or frustrated or angry. Over time, I realized that if I just waited, the feeling would pass. I learned not to take my feelings and thoughts about others or about the congregation as a whole quite so seriously.
It’s a long process, and I still get caught. But I can see my thoughts more clearly and hold them more lightly than I used to.
Is someone getting on your nerves in your ministry? What is one different choice you might make as you relate to them?