What 40 Year Old me would Say to 25 Year Old Me

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A wonderful bit of perspective for those (like myself) who are ministering in their 20s.

The Unappreciated Pastor

 

I was 25 when I became a senior pastor. That was 15 years ago. Honestly, I’m a little down about this whole age thing. I’m looking back a little. Time has gone by so quickly. I have been reminiscing about life in the ministry. In looking back I have come to the conclusion that it would have been great if there were a mentor in my life to prepare me for ministry. The reality is, at that point, I was so hard headed I probably would not have listened to anyone. I was pretty independent. The only person I would have listened to was me. I wish 40 year old me had been around when I was 25. I would have listened to him. That brings me to this blog post. What would 40 year old me have said to 25 year old me?

1. You’re an idiot. I…

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Considerate… Loving

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When I saw this post on XKCD the other day, it got me thinking about the difficulty of loving your neighbor.

Jesus tells his disciples that we are to “Love (our) neighbor as (ourselves).” He also tells us that we aren’t just supposed to love our neighbors, but we are supposed to “love our enemies.” He points out that loving those who love us isn’t particularly remarkable, as anyone can do that, but loving people who wish us ill, despise us, and actively seek our demise is our true calling.

I get that I’m supposed to love people, but if I start loving the hard to love people, what’s next?

We find ourselves asking, “WHERE DOES IT END, JESUS!?!? Do I have to love–” And Jesus interrupts us with a simple “yes”. “But, Jesus… I didn’t put any qualifiers on it yet.” “I know,” he responds, “Everyone.”

It doesn’t matter what descriptor we put into the question, the answer is always the same.