We travel a lot so naturally we meet a lot of people.
It never fails that we meet someone who has developed some sort of bitterness over the years, particularly among those in the ministry. Actually, it seems like those are some of the bitterest people I know!
Why? Well, the only common denominator that I can put my finger on is this: their focus was/is on people instead of Christ.
I hear things like:
"The ministry is hard. You learn you just can't trust people."
"Just prepare yourself to be very lonely. No one understands what it's like to be in the ministry."
"People will turn their backs on you because they don't understand."
But really is it any surprise when people let us down? Is it any surprise when we find we can't trust those closest to us? Is it really a shock that people don't understand us?
I think not. Actually, I'd be surprised if it were the other way around! In fact, I have no doubt that I've done my fair share of letting people down in my almost 25 years of existence.
So what do we do then? Give up and get bitter?
No, I'd say we just keep "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)
I like what Oswald Chambers says, "I have never met the man I could despair of after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God."
I'm thankful for a perfect God. He never fails.