31 Jesus-Benefits: Truthful Pastors

“So each of us will have to answer to God” (Romans 14:12).

Day 9 of Write31Days, and I’m glad I can choose to attend a church where there’s:

A pastor who says what I need to hear.

I was told years ago that if we weren’t challenged, we wouldn’t grow. I’ve always remembered that, and it’s helped me to stick with the church. Because when your pastor preaches and it touches a raw nerve, it’s tempting to do the spiritual equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears! Well, that temptation’s been around for thousands of years. God even addressed it through His spokesman Isaiah:

“These people are like children who lie and refuse to obey; they refuse to listen to the LORD’s teachings. They tell the seers, ‘Don’t see any more visions!’ They say to the prophets, ‘Don’t tell us the truth! Say things that will make us feel good; see only good things for us. Stop blocking our path. Get out of our way. Stop telling us about God, the Holy One of Israel’.

“So this is what the Holy One of Israel says: ‘You people have refused to accept this message and have depended on cruelty and lies to help you. You are guilty of these things. So you will be like a high wall with cracks in it that falls suddenly and breaks into small pieces. You will be like a clay jar that breaks, smashed into many pieces. Those pieces will be too small to take coals from the fire or to get water from a well.’ This is what the LORD GOD, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘If you come back to Me and trust Me, you will be saved’” (Isaiah 30:9-15).

Sobering, isn’t it? Do you really want to hear only what makes you feel good? Wouldn’t you rather have the odd sleepless night now than get to the end of your life and realise there were things you should have paid attention to? Let’s appreciate those pastors who preach truth, even when it doesn’t sit easily. God can use their words to make us more like Jesus.


Memory-Verse: Proverbs 25:28

It was lovely to be back in church today, after a week off last Sunday when the clocks went forward and my memory let me down.


Our pastor talked about anger and how as Christians, we don’t have an excuse. We can’t blame what we were born into because when we’re born again, the Holy Spirit lives in us and His fruit (E.G. self-control) is available to us. It’s great to have a pastor who’s courageous enough to preach truth and give us these reminders.


I can think of a time when something I’ve done in anger has led to people saying hurtful things about me, but what made them say those things? What gave them that impression? To my shame, it was the way I acted, I realised as the life in these words hit home: “If you cannot control your anger, you are as helpless as a city without walls, open to attack” (Proverbs 25:28).


If they hit home for you too, why not ask God for His forgiveness and His help in the future?