We’ve all fallen to the oldest trick in the book, but we need to know the oldest truth in the book. Knowing the difference between ministry and manipulation.
I watched them do it. They said a few words, suggested some options, smiled in a certain way, and waited. It wasn’t long before they had what they wanted. They had laid out the bait, and the person had grabbed it.
I then wondered how many times people had fallen to this subtle and sly manipulation. They were such an expert at it. Their success, their control was based on their ability to get others to do what they wanted them to do.
What’s it like to find out you’ve been manipulated?
For many, God can be like a drill sergeant, demanding and harsh, but that is a flawed understanding of God. When we look closely at the diamond, we can see other facets.
If you follow the rules and commands, then everything will be ok. Step out of line and watch out.
I’ve talked with many people about their understanding of what God is like, and after much discussion, we often hone the description down to being one of God being like a Drill Sergeant.
It’s a heart description; it’s how they feel about God. They may have an intellectual knowledge of God being love and compassion etc., but when you get down to a metaphor to describe God, it’s something akin to being like a drill sergeant. Continue reading “When God is like a Drill Sergeant”
She had given into the bully 365 times too many. She had been cheek slapped all of the marriage. He just accepted the insults and put-downs as if he deserved them. Tongue lashings kept him eating dust. Dust he and the abuser were both made out of. Ghosts of bullies past haunted them.
I gotta stand up and take a step
You and I have been asleep for hours
I gotta stand up
For your love
Others, who had also tasted dirt, rose from the dust and stood alongside the quivering heart. With a newly discovered dignity, they no longer felt like a worm.
It’s always dangerous when we subconsciously create a ‘saviour’ out of a sinner. If you stand too close to the pedestal, of a venerated statue, you’ll get damaged by the cracks.
I always cringed when someone would call me ‘Pastor Barry’. If possible I would always ask them to never do this again. I would say ‘My name is Barry, and part of who I am, is I am a pastor’.
I don’t want to be considered as more special, pastoral or have a certain status than anyone else. We are all priests. Sure I may specific gifts and training that helped me to pastor, but in the end, Christ won’t welcome ‘Pastor Barry’ home, instead, it will simply be ‘Welcome Barry, good and faithful servant’.
I also know that this small step of veneration is a little step towards a slippery slope of them making me into a sub-conscious ‘saviour’. It can also fuel pride in myself, and who needs that.
We see it politics, sports, entertainment, business and the church. The extolling of someone to the heights of a type of worship.