Some years ago I was speaking to someone who had just hired an assistant pastor. He mentioned the conversation that he had just had with the new guy, of how he was being very critical of his previous pastor and boss. Apparently he was constantly running him down and complaining that he had never been supported, even going on to say that he was a complete waste of space! I knew the church and had preached there. Like any church it had its faults, but it was one of the biggest churches in the area with a great reputation. Needless to say the young man in question, despite being really well qualified and good at his job, didn’t last long.
I believe that our values are as important as our theology. In fact I am sure that the young man in question had impeccable theology, but his criticism of his former boss said more about him than the church he had just left. Romans 12: 10 (Part of our passage for 2019) says; “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other. This is why we are working hard at St John’s to foster a culture of honour. A culture where we intentionally speak well of each other, even those who frustrate us and with whom we disagree. The church needs to be a safe place, a place where we handle our disagreements well and resist the temptation to run others down, especially behind their backs. Let us seek to love others with genuine affection, knowing that as we do, we somehow better reflect the God we serve.