Not being into psychoanalysis–or for that matter, not being into picking up on subliminal vibes from people even a little–I do not know all the reasons why good people do some of the dumb things they do.
Take church people and how they relate to their preachers, for instance.
Sometimes members of the flock do nice things for their shepherd in cruel ways. They offer good gifts but on looking closely, you can see the hooks attached. They offer sweet praise with barbs on the end.
Do they know what they are doing? Are they aware that in doing these things they only add to the burdens of their spiritual leaders? Do they know they’re being cruel?
I expect most of us would disagree with our answers on that. I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Here are several “gifts” no pastor wants or needs or should ever receive from those who value his ministry and wish to encourage him.
1. Anonymous criticism.
“Pastor, could I have a word with you? Pastor, you need to know that some members of the congregation are upset about that sermon you preached last Sunday.” Or, that program you started. Or that staff member you are bringing in. Or that family you singled out for praise.
Some members of the congregation. Or even worse, a lot of church members. Translation: “My wife and I.”