Thursday, April 26, 2012

Teaching by example

I remember taking one of those pyschological/pastoral practice tests they give at the Seminary, and noting that I scored very low on the idea of being an example. Questions like, "As a Pastor, I should be an example to my congregation" horrified me... and to a certain extent they still do. Why are you looking at me... look to Christ! However, the simple truth is this - you will teach by example. And you know what - this is good, and it something we ought to do a bit more. I've been contemplating how folks interact with each other - especially pastors on line, and there is a ton of browbeating, a ton of just ripping people to shreds. Very destructive. Granted, there are times that a bit of destruction is necessary... but this isn't surgery to remove a tumor or cyst, this is carpet bombing an entire neighborhood to get to that cyst. You know - maybe we should be a little bit more content teaching by example. Maybe we should think about being examples of proper behavior... patience, kindness, self-control, putting the best construction on things. That's what we ought to do publicly. And if we need to correct, well, maybe we should be a bit more content with admonishing and giving advice one on one, in private, where no one can see to either praise our wonderful wisdom (or orthodoxy) and where no one is going to have attention drawn to their errors or shame. Just some thoughts.

4 comments:

Mary J said...

I'm don't really think someone can disagree with what you've said. But I think cultivating an obvious life of humanity--an obvious showing that pastors too are human--is also necessary. Of course people will fall of the line at times, but I'd rather that than hidden prostitutes. Though I suppose it all comes down to this: self-righteousness breeds sin, whether it's a sin between brothers or a sin against the public.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this :)

Tejas said...

I must admit, this is something I struggled with at some stage in my life as well. As Mary J said, I've now learned to live as an example to my best ability, and boast in my failures so that Jesus will be glorified even more in loving a stumbling sinner like me, you know?

Christopher D. Hall said...

Amen. Preach it brother.