Got the Blues…PART DEUX!
If you happened to miss the first part of my emotastic musings, you can catch up here.
For those of you who don’t feel like reading the novella that I posted on the subject, here is a quick synopsis.
For the past few weeks, I have been feeling down. This, however, has been most prevalent over the last few days. This stems from several things. I explored one major contributor with the last personal post. It basically boils down to allowing others to affect my temperament based upon snide comments made about certain aspects of my life in which I take a very personal interest. With this heavy personal investment, it becomes a spirit breaker when someone criticizes something that I believe was done well.
In this particular instance, it was the music part of the worship service that I led three weeks ago. Some criticism came down from some very prominent people in my life and it felt like I got punched squarely in the face. Anyway, I have moved beyond that, but, unfortunately, this has not been the only situation to darken my mood over the past few weeks.
About six weeks ago, I felt God strongly impressing me to look deeply into the conduct of myself and my praise team. Now, I am not a bad guy. The desire of my heart is to look more and more like Jesus every day, reconciling myself to Him in true discipleship. I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is the call that Jesus puts on all of our lives. Unfortunately, even with my best intentions, I still fall. I believe that God expects our disobedience; therefore, His grace and mercy are all-sufficient, but that is not a license to freely sin.
The primary issue that humanity has to overcome is the desire to willfully sin that is ingrained within our flesh. We are to do this through living daily, moment by moment, with a focus that is directed solely to the face of God. God has given us His word and wise counsel through Godly people along with a direct link to His knowledge and wisdom through prayer in order to allow us to seek his face moment by moment. He allows us to experience circumstances in our lives that are designed to close the gap between the perfect image of Christ and the broken image that is the picture of our human existence.
In order to be a practicing part of the praise ministry, it is necessary that the lives of the people involved, measure up to scripture. This is due to the fact that each member of the band is seen as a leader within the body of Christ. You might not agree. In fact, there was a time that I didn’t necessarily agree with that, but as I have studied the scripture and the individual needs of my local church, it has become readily apparent that those who play in the praise band are seen as leaders. As a leader, you should model Christ’s love and standards for living to the best of your ability, and, if you are unable to do that, you should step away.
I do not expect every member of the band to have every piece of their life in perfect working order. If that was the case, then I would also be disqualified from service. The heart of the document simply states that in order to participate in the praise ministry at the church, one must be pursuing God at their own pace, making positive progress for the majority of the time. Setbacks are expected. Funky moods happen. God understands this. The point is to present positive progress over time and to be able to be a role model for members of the congregation.
Following the leading of the Holy Spirit, I wrote a covenant for the band. In order to continue minister with the team, It was necessary for each member to review the covenant and sign a commitment form. There was nothing within the document that is outside the expectations of scripture. In fact, this never should even be an issue as every Christian is supposed to be doing this in their lives already.
Unfortunately, three weeks after my initial meeting with the band to relay the heart of the covenant to the band, confrontation reared its explosive head in response to upholding the standards for Christ-likeness that are outlined within the covenant. These standards are pulled straight out of scripture.
I hate confrontation. Seriously. Hate. It.
In order to maintain the integrity of the ministry, I had to ask several people to step down from their positions within the ministry because their daily progress with God was not evident. Actually, they were living lives that were in direct confrontation with the guidelines that Jesus sets forth for us in His teaching. This was the most difficult thing that I have done since I took over as the worship leader seventeen months ago. These people are my family and some of the best musicians that I know. I cannot relay to you how difficult this decision was.
Now, these people, who are vitally important to me, aren’t speaking to me. They don’t acknowledge me. They have stopped coming to church. Hence, this is another aspect adding to the current funk in which I find myself. Seriously, I knew that this was going to happen, but that still did not prepare me for the reality of my present situation. My heart hurts because they are not around anymore, but also because I know that my action “against” them was the final straw. So, I find myself wondering whether or not I did the right thing. When I stand before Jesus at the bema seat, will my actions be justified or will I come to find that I was completely mistaken?
I sought God’s face prior to making any decisions. I also spoke with the leadership of the church and they backed me 100%. I feel like I made the right call, but it hurts so much.
I am honestly just frustrated because I love these people so much, and the desire of my heart is to see them do great things in Christ’s name. I believe that they have the potential to do so. This is precisely the reason that it hurts so much. This is why my heart has been left ripped open and exposed. This is yet another reason that it has been so hard to find my joy as of late.
The question that I continue to ask myself over and over is “Why can’t they just do the right thing?” They know the right thing. I have seen them live a Christ-like life. This is why I am baffled. I just want to do it for them, but I can’t. They have a choice to make and Christ makes it clear that there is no such thing as fence-sitting. In Matthew 6:24 Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters. either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” It is impossible to serve both yourself and God. Period.
Again, this isn’t the only reason for my funky mood, but this one hurt something fierce.
What do I do, internet?
All for His glory.