For many years I lived with Frustration. This fiend, not friend, visited uninvited and often overstayed his welcome. As a pastor, this obnoxious intruder showed up on Sunday afternoons and stayed well into the following week. Around Wednesday or Thursday, I would finally kick him out.
My guest was uninvited, however, I often left the door open for him to enter into a room in my mind. After struggling with this nuisance for decades, I finally figured out how to shut the door in his face. I'm not always successful, but the visits have slowed down and sometimes, Frustration never even shows up and seeks an entry.
In my case, Frustration came disguised as discouragement with trying to evaluate the results of my work. Many struggle with this battle, at least some that I have talked with over the years. Questions like:
- Why do people sleep during my sermon? I must be really boring, not like _______________.
- Am I making an impact?
- Why aren't things changing?
- Am I insignificant?
Perhaps you have never struggled along these lines. Many have shared with me that they have and still do, asking, “Does my life matter and how can I tell?” It seems we want to know if what we do has any value or long-term impact on anyone else.
My process of shutting the door in this intruder’s face is to answer this question: Did I present, to the best of my ability, what the Lord wanted me to say?If I did, then I can rest. Now, everyone can seek to refine and improve techniques and skills, and we all should continue to improve in performing whatever job we have, but I’m talking here about a fundamental issue. Did I do what the Lord asked me to do?
If the answer is yes, then I can rest in that fact. If the answer is no, then I need to change that to a yes the next time. Here is the key for me—I do the best I can in walking in obedience to the Lord and He will take care of the results. This is freeing if we embrace it.
I'm not responsible for the results, only my part in the process. Also, I am not in the proper place to evaluate those results for I do not have a large enough picture of reality; only God does. Only God can see what is really going on in someone’s heart, mind and know the outcome of their life. Only God. Not me. Not you.
Our job is to walk in obedience to the revealed will of God and we let Him take care of the results of our obedience. If we can’t see the results, and I guarantee you most of the time we cannot, that does not change our primary calling—obedience to the Lord. God will watch over His Word and He is more than able to accomplish what He desires.
If we embrace this truth, Frustration may come knocking, but we do not have to open the door to him. We are all called to walk in obedience to the Father, and if we're doing our best, we will hear, “Well done good and faithful servant,” and that is not frustrating in the least.
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Dr. Jeff Klick serves as the senior pastor of Hope Family Fellowship, an age-integrated church he planted in 1993. In addition, he is an instructor with The Institute of Church Management and is on the board of The Council for Gospel Legacy Churches. He has earned a professional designation, CFP, a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry, a Doctorate in Biblical Studies, and a Ph.D. in Pastoral Ministry. Jeff and his bride Leslie have been married more than 42 years and are blessed with three adult children and 13 grandchildren.www