Pastors are Professional Forgivers

Episode 690: Pastors often are criticized unfairly and need to forgive the sin, yet they also find themselves in the position of making mistakes that need to be forgiven. Host Clint Clifton explores various aspects of that challenge with Dave Harvey and Kathy Litton.

In This Episode, You’ll Discover:

  • How to fight the tendency to become hardhearted and thin-skinned
  • How your response to others reveals your true grasp of the gospel
  • That forgiving sets you free from bondage to resentment 
  • The most difficult part of extending forgiveness
  • How conflict can help you identify toxic elements in your life

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Sharable Quotes (#NewChurches):

A lot of church members see pastors like the customer service desk at Walmart. They feel free to speak more critically toward toward the pastor than they would otherwise. @ClintJClifton

I’ve seen this issue with slander and also when I’ve made mistakes. We are called to love the church but it’s not because the church always embodies our beliefs on speech and forgiveness very well. I must be willing, like Christ, to pick up my cross and at times become the object of others’ imperfections, forgive and move on. @RevDaveHarvey

The trajectory of a maturing pastor is continually to have a tender heart and continually to be thick-skinned. @ClintJClifton

Ed and I call this “We’re smoking what we’re selling.” We have to go to the power of the gospel to move our hearts, to give us forgiveness, grace and mercy we cannot manufacture on our own. – Kathy Litton

A spiral of anger and bitterness takes you to a place where you’re not healthy and can’t distribute the kind of grace people in your congregation really deserve. @ClintJClifton

There’s a good outcome to own your sin and confess that and ask for forgiveness. It’s healthy for the church. It’s a signal that needs to be seen in the culture. I have to resist my flesh overtaking my spirit at that point. – Kathy Litton

The most difficult part of forgiveness is that we have to absorb the cost of another person’s sin and allow it to end with us. That’s a tipping point. All I can offer people is the cross, because the gift we received from Christ was not “I’ll forgive you, but it can’t cost me.” @RevDaveHarvey

Published August 9, 2022

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