Thick Skin

There are a lot of aspects in ministry in which it’s good to have thick skin, or when thick skin gets developed ~ like it or not.  Thick skin comes in handy when you have a lot to juggle in a little bit of time, when criticism rains like a monsoon or when you face intense life situations with those you serve.

Having some thick skin, however, doesn’t mean we are to have a cold heart.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  We are to have compassion for people (Col. 3:12).  We are to weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15).  We are to BEAR one anothers’ burdens (Gal. 6:2).

Right now there is just seems like there’s a lot to weep about…  Have you been following the story of the three little boys missing in Michigan/Ohio?  That just has me torn up inside.  Then we have a guy at church who will be burying his 31 year old brother Thursday due to a car accident.  Dealing with that brings up recent memories for a young widow (in her early 30s) who just lost her husband this summer the same way.  All that on top of health issues, struggling marriages, financial difficulties, depression ~ tough things people close to us and/or in our church family are going through.  Add to it news reports of a student gunman, possible war in Korea and COLD, November rain – COME QUICKLY LORD JESUS!

I’m not a weepy person… Sure, I cry every time I watch My Girl or The Notebook… but I’ve never been a quick crier.  Tonight, with my precious Bible Study ladies we wept with and for those who weep.  It’s always a little awkward for non-crier or infrequent-crier like me when I do cry in public…  But it’s O.K.  It really is.  God blessed us with feelings and emotions.  He blessed us with the ability to have compassion and empathy and mercy. He actually tells us to do it, that it is good.

I’m so stinkin’ thankful for the Body of Christ.  I’m thankful for the people that posted GOOD things to rejoice with them about on my FaceBook page or sent encouraging messages. I’m thankful that we can come together and weep, share and lift burdens to the One who cares about each one of them.  I’m thankful for the faithfulness of our God, His great love for us and His encouraging Word.  Tonight’s Bible Study was, of course, exactly what I/we needed to hear.  Allow me to close with some amazing, God-breathed words that met me exactly where I was tonight, and I pray encourages you as well.

Rest in God alone, my soul,
for my hope comes from Him Psalm 62:5.

Who is like you,
a people SAVED by the LORD?
He is the shield that protects you,
the sword you boast in. Deut. 33:29

Casting all your care upon Him, because He cares about you. 1 Pet. 5:7

He turned the curse into a blessing for you because the LORD your God loves you. Deut. 23:5

Yeah.  So that thick skin… Trade it in for some compassion.  It may sting a little, may etch away at your pride a bit – but it’s so worth it.  Whatever it is you’re facing, you’re not alone.  The Body of Christ is bearing this with you and our Great God will turn this curse into blessing. Praise HIM!

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