From last Monday: Maybe you have a “pastor’s heart” too. Has Satan ever tried to destroy you with a personal sin that had to be removed through a painful process of self-evaluation and conviction? If so, then you understand how much others hurt when they reap what they sow. Do you know what it means to live in the dark pit of depression and come to a place where you don’t care whether you live or die? Then you can show patience to those who seem stuck and have lost the desire to take positive steps for their own welfare…
I have talked with former mourners who vowed they would never be those people who turned their sorrow into a ministry to others. They have said, “That’s not me. Once I get through this I don’t want to talk about it again.” But as time passes and they watch others suffer as they have, their perspective changes. They finally come to the place where they can’t stand by and do nothing. Their heart compels them.
This may be one reason, among many, why the Pharisees and Jesus had such different philosophies of ministry. Although Jesus was sinless, He understood human suffering, and was willing to take on the role of a Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. The Pharisees, on the other hand, claimed self-righteousness and looked down on anyone who failed to live up to their standards.
Jesus was a mourner. He was the prophesied suffering servant of Isaiah 53 who was “despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:3-4).
It is true, there are those who become bitter as a result of personal pain and spend the rest of their lives thinking the world owes them something. But most of the mourners I know eventually embrace the “pastor’s heart” and are willing to do almost anything to ease the burden of those who come behind them. If you have suffered in life, my guess is you have this kind of heart, and since the moment you found yourself in a place you thought you would never be you have never seen others quite the same.