Just after finishing my last post, I received the weekly meditation from the Henri Nouwen Society. It seemed to arrive at an appropriate time as I thought about the importance of valuing the relationships I have with people; hearing complaints but not becoming critical myself.
The author is reflecting on the value of relationships. She states,” I have come to reverence the preciousness of life. I now see myself as a steward of relationships. A good steward manages and cares for the dearest of relationships with love. A good steward is faithful to the law, the commandment to love, by tending to challenging relationships with mercy and forgiveness.”
She is speaking in the context of being a parent but this applies to all of us and all of our relationships.
We did our pastoral review last night. We have a great pastor and youth pastor who listen to these things and take them in and grow from them.
That is a very good thing.
It is not easy being part of the group that has to sit down with the forms we get handed in and compile them into something meaningful, something that actually and honestly reflects what people are thinking. And then we have to consider the many more people in the congregation who did not hand in a form for whatever reason. Maybe they just don’t do forms; maybe they have nothing to complain about so, being content with the ways things are, do not fill out a form.
People who do hand in the forms tend to be from two groups – the complainers or the ones who realise the value in returning an evaluation and take time to think and respond honestly with both positive and negative constructive statements. So, sometimes you get responses that come from totally opposite points of view. Try and compile that into one statement!
We did our best. I think it all worked out pretty well. I hope God’s hand was in it all.
What I find most hard to deal with is staying neutral; staying positive and staying loving. I do not want to take what I know to form negative opinions about others. I see that tendency in myself and I could easily give in to it, passing on a critical spirit to others. It is easier to complain than to look at a situation, evaluate it and then use it to make good and wise changes.