“You have a complaint, is that right?”

“I hate to sound negative. I’m sure the pastor is a good man.”


“But there’s one thing he does that drives me up the wall and is probably going to drive me out of the church.”

“That’s a lot of driving.”

“He talks about money all the time. And I’ve had it up to here. And it’s not just me–a lot of people feel the same way.”

“A lot of people? Be specific.”

“Well, actually, it’s my brother-in-law and his wife, but we’re all agreed that if he doesn’t change his ways, we’re going to change our church.”

“That’s a lot of changing.”

“I don’t think you’re taking me seriously.”

“I am. It’s not like I’ve not heard this song before. I pastored for 42 years before becoming your director of missions.”

“So, what are you going to do about him?”

“Not a thing. He’s not the problem. You are.”

“Oh great. I knew I was making a mistake coming here.”

“No, you did the right thing. Because I’m not going to fool around and spare your feelings. I don’t know you and you don’t know me. You don’t need a thing from me and as far as I know, I’ll never see you again. So, there’s no reason in the world for me not to give it to you straight.”

“It sounds like you’re about to beat up on me.”

“That depends on your relationship with the Lord. If you love Him and want to grow in Him, then you will welcome someone who shows you your hypocrisies. But if you are in rebellion against God and living in sin, you will resent everything I say and will probably storm out of this office in the next three minutes.”

“I like a challenge. Go ahead. Give it your best shot.”

“Okay. Buckle your seat belt, friend. Here goes….

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“Are you teasing me? This couldn’t really happen.”

“It did. I walked out into the back yard and found a church member going through my trash. I said, ‘Bobby, what are you doing?’ He said, ‘I want to see what my pastor and his family are reading. Make sure you’re who you claim to be.'”

I said, “Pastor, that is rather incredible.”

He said, “Tell me about it. Unfortunately, that kind of attitude is fairly typical for my church.”

“There are other instances?”

“Not that, exactly. He’s the only one I found going through my trash, but we do have a number of suspicious and strange people in our congregation.” .

I didn’t say anything, so he went on. “There is this old lady who wrote my daughter a letter the other day. Now, my little girl is eight years old, and she’s a typical kid, I suppose, although I think she’s wonderful. So, when this letter came from an older woman in the church, we thought, ‘How nice. She’s writing a letter of encouragement to our daughter.’ Not hardly.”

“She took the letter to her room and read it. A minute later she was back and wanted me to see it. I could hardly believe it. This lady–she must be 75 years old–had written my daughter to complain about her not speaking to her at church last Sunday. Said she walked right by and did not say hello, and that pastors’ daughters should be better than that. She was cruel.”

“How did that make you feel?”

“How do you think it made me feel? Like going over there and strangling the battleaxe!”

“What did you do?”

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