Loving Our Spiritual Leaders: by Henri Nouwen…
“Religious leaders, priests, ministers… can be admired and revered but also hated and despised. We expect that our religious leaders will bring us closer to God through their prayers, teaching, and guidance. Therefore, we watch their behavior carefully and listen critically to their words. But precisely because we expect, often without fully realizing it, to be superhuman, we are easily disappointed or even feel betrayed when they prove to be just as human as we are. Thus, our unmitigated admiration quickly turns into unrestrained anger.
Let’s try to love our religious leaders, forgive them their faults, and see them as brothers and sisters. Then we will enable them, in their brokenness, to lead us closer to the heart of God.”
Yes, please… we are human, just like you. What’s the best thing to do for us?? Pray for us!! We are continually on our knees for you. And often bawling our eyes out for you. When we pray, “Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours”, weeping comes with the territory. I find myself a prayer corner to pray, for privacy sake, but so often because I’m on my knees weeping. I’m sure that would be awkward for anyone to walk in on! 🙂
Because of the Spiritual responsibility, I believe strongly that religious leaders need an army of regular prayer warriors. I have 40 officially appointed ones and I have several more who tell me informally they are lifting me and my family up in prayer. I need it. My family needs it. We are in a battle which I must NEVER try to fight on my own strength.
We are all shepherds when we receive Christ’s call to follow Him. I’m not on a pedestal above you. Please give me grace. I am merely, like you, a human desiring to be used by God. Let’s journey together! The enemy longs for you to hate me and when you do, he laughs. Let us instead make our Lord laugh because we love each other and are in tandem working together for His glory and NOT our own. Amen!