Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. Philippians 4:1
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 1 Thessalonians 2:19
These verses depict what anyone in ministry feels. It is joy when our students obey the Lord, when they get into ministry, when they bear fruit.
On the other hand, when someone into whom you have invested time falls into sin, that is sad, disappointing, frustrating, angering. For years they have sat under our teaching, they know what is acceptable and what is not. And yet you hear news that shows that they were not obeying. AIDS, Teen pregnancy, divorce, spousal abuse, polygamy, theft, lying, jealousy, corruption, discord, fighting, swearing, etc… Many of these sins have consequences for the rest of one’s life.
I’m stuck asking, “Why?” Did I not do my job? And then I wonder how my Lord feels. How I must break His heart over and over and over again. It’s the whole log in my eye and speck in my neighbor’s eye issue once again.
Yet, when this little baby is born and forces a couple to get married because of their sin, why do I struggle to celebrate with them? When someone who is quite promiscuous is now dying of AIDS, do I comfort them? When someone wants to stay in my home who has a reputation for theft, can I welcome them? I think it would be easier if they would confess and show signs of repentance, but when they do not?
In a society that is newly Christian, they find joy in these things and they comfort the sinner. Why am I so judgmental? How do I find the motivation to keep teaching when so many of these young Christians fall into sin. We think the situation in Corinth was bad, but what I see here seems so much worse.
God help us.