Isn’t it easy to take the people in our lives for granted? It is not that we are unloving or that we don’t appreciate the relationships we have. No, I believe the problem is simply we are not intentional enough about considering and expressing appreciation for others.
I recently read a story of a young man who lost his father, who happened to be a longtime pastor in the community. During the memorial service, several people spoke, expressing deep affection for their late pastor and friend; they talked of his sermons, his caring heart, his selflessness— on and on they went. After all of this, it was the son’s turn to speak. With tear-filled eyes, he approached the microphone, thanking everyone for their kind comments and then added, “I only wish you would have told my dad these things while he was alive.”
In light of Pastor Appreciation Month, I have deliberately considered and expressed why I am thankful for the other pastors on my team. Putting in words and in writing, why I love serving with and doing life with these men, has been immensely joyful. I am eager to be more intentional about considering and conveying my gratitude to my fellow pastors, and to everyone else who is near and dear to my heart, on a more regular basis. It is not just pastors who need this— children, spouses, friends, fellow believers, co-workers— we all need encouragement!
As Real followers of Jesus, we especially need to honor fellow believers. You may be saying, “Pastor, we are supposed to glorify God, not men;” To that I would say a hearty, “AMEN!” Honoring other believers in word and deed, is not a contradiction to this chief aim to glorify God, but rather a very practical way to go on carrying it out. Romans 12:10 says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” When we honor one another in this way, we are walking in obedience to God’s word, which glorifies Him.
Let love be genuine (Romans 12:9). Let’s not offer empty, disingenuous words to one another. Let’s not be superficial. May we pray, ask God to help us see His grace at work in the lives of others, and celebrate that grace often and intentionally— NOT just at memorial services.
Cheering You On,