Did You Feel That?

It’s important we check the softness of our hearts now and then. It’s good to be tough, to not get overwhelmed by things when chaos breaks out–or to make matters worse by freaking out along with everyone else.

However…

What’s even worse is to be a leader who can’t feel pain.

When someone in the church or a loved one goes through something awful, can you feel it? I understand self-protection. I understand wanting to be strong in the midst of others’ pain. But, we don’t want to get to the point we don’t feel things–and that’s possible. This morning, let me encourage you not to harden your heart.

If we have the heart of Jesus in us, there will be times when we feel the excruciating pain of sin and the destruction it produces. We’ll smell the stench of death and the glory of future resurrection. We’ll also feel the joy of a sinner returning to the Father’s House and the re-ignition of passion for Christ in the heart of a heart grown cold.

But, we should feel something. If not, we need to look into that. Without the ability to experience the peaks and valleys in others’ lives (and our own for that matter), we will become ministry machines rather than pastors. I know many of us fear pain and/or emotion in general because we think it can cloud our judgment or overwhelm us. It doesn’t have to. Sometimes, it clarifies our vision, and gives us the want-to to love people in ways we couldn’t distantly. We don’t need to fall apart all the time or use more Kleenex than Scripture. But…

Love is not numb. Jesus, the greatest leader of all time, wasn’t impervious to passion (zeal for God’s house consumed Him) or grief (he cried at Lazarus’ death). He felt the anguish of Sin on His shoulders…

and still followed through with what God called Him to do.

The next time you are in the presence of tragedy or immense joy, notice whether or not you feel it. It will tell you a lot about the state of your heart.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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