A Word of Warning: My blogs are usually motivational, practical, and spiritual in that order. Seldom do they deal with the church, though the church has been, and is, a large part of my life. This week is a little different. But as you read it, and join me “Behind The Door,” you will discover so will discover what it takes to prevail over pain.
A good friend, conversant in all things church, (second generation minister turned businessman and a church consultant), and I were working out, as we often do, the vagaries of the church as it is. In specific we were discussing preachers and what they preach. I named one who is quite prominent and said, “He is a good speaker, (and he really is), the problem is that he preaches pain and not power.” I went on to say, that one of the biggest problems in the church in general, is that most of our preaching is about pain and not power. My friend, conversant in these things, was good enough to agree, saying, “I think you’ve put your finger on it.”
A few days before I had another conversation, arranged by the pastor of the church that I was speaking. He had asked me if I would mind talking with some of his younger leaders, and when I happily agreed, (talking with young people keeps me young), he arranged for them to lunch with us. After he told them that they could ask me anything that they wanted the fun began. And it was great fun! I love talking to articulate, intelligent, younger people, that have a heart for God. They were and they did. One of them asked the question—“How do we communicate expectation to our generation, when our generation doesn’t believe that they should have any expectations?” It was an interesting conversation. A generation living in pain, without expectation. To quote astronaut John Swigart’s communication with NASA Mission Control from Apollo 13, “Houston, we have a problem here.”
In a recent issue of Vanity Fair, (yes, I read everything!), Don Winslow wrote a fascinating article on the trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, in which he makes two powerful points. The first is that sentencing Guzman to life in super max won’t stop the flow of opioids into the United States. The second is that there wouldn’t be an opioid epidemic if there weren’t end users, i.e. U.S. citizens. Opioids, according to his article, kill more Americans each year than guns or cars. Opioids, he said, are a response to pain. His question is, “What is the pain?”
There is plenty of pain. Pain is endemic to the human condition. We’re born in pain. We have growing pains. We face the pain of rejection. The pain of betrayal. Physical pain. Emotional pain. Self-induced pain. We feel pain when we lose a loved one—or a beloved pet. I’ve experienced all of the above. More than once. The world is a painful place. But I don’t preach pain—I preach power. Let me tell you why.
Pain preached implies an acquiescence to pain that perpetuates the cycle of pain. In other words, if you choose to live in pain the pain remains! If you choose to deal with the pain, the pain is alleviated, or a least mitigated. But dealing with pain requires power.
When you join me “Behind The Door,” I’m going to share some insights that will help you to overcome the pain in your life. Better than that—I’m going to tell you how to live pro-actively and sidestep some of it! If you like pain stop reading. If you’re like me and intensely dislike pain I’ll meet you “Behind The Door.”
If you have the password you can join me there now. If you don’t have the password, hit the sowing button and sow a seed of any amount into the ministry and you will be redirected to the password page. Write it down—it’s good for the entire month.