“But we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves….” (II Corinthians 1:8-9)
Something inside the hurting pastor thinks, “If I could just make them see what I have to deal with, the people would understand and might be a little more sympathetic, instead of making their endless demands on me.”
Good luck with that, pastor.
Paul tried it. Several times in his epistle we call “Second Corinthians” he attempted to get across to that ever-needy congregation what he was going through, the price he was paying to extend the gospel of Jesus, and the ongoing burden of shepherding the people of the Lord.
They. Did. Not. Care.
They wanted their needs met and wanted it done now. Whatever Paul was going through was his own personal business; they had their own problems, they reasoned.
So, shepherd of the Lord’s people–I’m referring to you!–the next time you are considering taking a few minutes of the Sunday service to let the congregation in on your personal travails in the hope that they will call off the hounds and become more supportive, take a lesson from Paul.
First, he gave it a good try. “If they only know,” he must have reasoned, “they’ll stop this foolishness.” Yeah, right.