17 Obey your spiritual leaders and recognize their authority, for they keep watch over your soul without resting since they will have to give an account to God for their work. So it will benefit you when you make their work a pleasure and not a heavy burden.
Hebrews 13:17 Passion Translation
The Apostle Paul tells us to obey our church leaders and recognise their authority if we want to build a church that is foundationally strong and healthy. Often, most church-goers have no idea of the stress, challenges and problems their church leaders faced in their ministry.
We need to recognise our leaders are not superhuman or immune to pain, sadness or grief. They do go through bad days and tough times, but they push ahead because they know how important their ministry contributes to the overall well-being of those they are responsible for and serve.
If we want our church to be a community of love and mutual care, we must learn to love and care for those who give themselves to love and care for us. We ought to recognise our leaders need to be appreciated, honoured and respected. And they need to be defended when they are unfairly treated and affirmed when they are feeling discouraged and defeated.
Loyalty is one of the most important aspects of building a strong and healthy church community. To be loyal is to be faithful to our leaders and supportive of their leadership endeavours, and not undermining them in any way. If you have a divided heart towards your leaders, it will be hard to submit and serve them in the way that honours Christ.
When you can’t appreciate or honour a leader in your church, your first instinct is to leave and find another leader of another church that seems appealing and exciting. What you must understand is that everything appealing and exciting will eventually get familiar and ordinary in your sight.
Anyone in a good kingdom relationship with others will tell you that such a relationship does not maintain itself. You have to train your thoughts and renew your mind through Christ regarding the leaders that God has connected you to and whom you are thankful to God for bringing into your life. When you do so, you will experience the grace of God in such depth that keeps you faithful to your sense of belonging and call to submission in Christ.
Application: What is the Holy Spirit saying to me from today’s scripture reading? What is it saying about God and me and helping me in my Christian walk?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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