PRIDE AND THE ALLERGIC REACTION
- Pride certainly sets in when I think about all this: I say to myself, why is it that one with my experience and capacity can’t be used in a local church. When I am treated along side "rookies" in ministry, the pride shows its ugly face.
I read an article talking about our sensitive or allergic reactions. The idea was that the more things you’re reacting against, like allergens, and the stronger your reactions, the more likely that your soul will go sick and your ministry will go sour.
I had never really heard this idea before. A bad reaction can be deadly, and you could lose your ministry? How is this? Here is an example:
A preacher confided to a group of other preachers, "I’m motivated by competition. I want to have the biggest, most creative church. I’m driven to be significant." And another pastor said, "That motivation will destroy you someday. :You should deal with that." And he said "Yeah, you’re probably right." And he didn’t deal with it, because in a way, it’s what kept him going.
His deep reaction against small, dysfunctional, boring churches drove him to where his personal life deteriorated, ending his ministry. He was a good man, but reactivity got him.
- A bad reaction, rebuttal, resistance to what you don’t like or motivates you to avoid the opposite can bring problems to you and/or your family, and/or ministry.
- A strong reaction against what you believe is wrong, like legalism, could fill you with righteous indignation. One such person saw legalism make the Christian life tense and cramped instead of joyful and free. He saw it make Christian communities mean-spirited instead of grace-filled. SO he went out of his way to exhibit his freedom from legalism.
I read a few blog where sincere people with a lot of wisdom and depth, react against megachurches that they perceive as impersonal and shallow. Their web site is meant to correct the error of megachurches.
Some pastors so overreact to a megachurch’s corporate image, they themselves fail to set good "professional boundaries", which too often more than not, results in personal burnout, or family break up and sloppy church leadership. Too frequently their reactivity against corporate shallowness causes them to drift into a kind of elitism, strangely proud of how few people understand them.. In their reaction against corporate, purpose-driven, church growth movement, they find themselves stymied by mismanaged details and, often, poor leadership.
If the truth were really revealed, I would say most pastors have come form of this allergic reaction. There is something that we do not like, so we react the opposite.
Of course, sometimes reactivity is socially acceptable. Sometimes there is a shared reactivity and can become a badge of honor. For example: "We are a KJV only church." "We only do this in this church." etc. The problem here in this group of churches, they don’t see this as a reaction, but a shared reactivity that is biblical and good.
And as I view this kind of reactivity, I find the hardest to detect, of course, is my own. I think now I react all the time. I am in a state of reactivity. I find myself very susceptible to it.
How do you deal with your own reactivity? Some would be tempted to present self-examination as the answer, but what if the standards by which I examine myself are themselves reactive?
Some of us have the blessing of criticism, which can point out our areas of reactivity, but then we can react against the criticism.
We might present Bible study as the answer, since the Bible has an amazing balance. But as we all know, it is amazingly easy to focus on what reinforces our reactivity and miss everything else.
What we really need is a trusted friend who will be honest with us. "Please, if you see me reacting badly, tell me straight."
I believe all of us will react, I am not sure there is a fool proof protection from foolishness, which reactivity is one form. But it’s true that we can admit that the best of us are susceptible to bad reactions, and we then need to seek to protect ourselves not only from what we react against, but also from bad reactions.
Then I have to read Proverbs 8:13: "I hate pride and arrogance!" Take heed of pride and haughtiness of spirit. Pride is the great master-scar of the soul; it will bud and blossom--it cannot be hidden. Pride is the leprosy of the soul, which breaks forth in the very forehead! Pride is . . .the sum of all vileness, a sea of sin, a mother sin, a breeding sin--a sin which has all sorts of sin in its womb! In pride, all vices are wrapped up together in a bundle! "The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished!" Proverbs 16:5God will have nothing to do with proud people. He won't come near such loathsome lepers!Therefore, as ever you would enjoy God's presence, arm yourself against pride, watch against pride, and pray hard against pride!
Those words are sharp to the soul.
OUR ALLERGIC REACTION:
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Proof Check and having an allergic reaction Charity
Some react to churches doing things in a cheap and sloppy manner, others to doing things "with excellence." Either way, a bad reaction can be deadly .