Can I admit to you here how much I hate being treated like I don’t know what I’m doing?
Except, of course, when I am admittedly a novice or rookie.
But: I’ve been at this pastoring thing for almost 30 years! So when someone approaches me – especially when they condescendingly share that it’s from the Holy Spirit – that I need to change this or stop doing that or start preaching this other way/topic/etc., I really, sometimes, want to scream.
So far, I haven’t scream in the face of anyone who has so intended to bless me.
You see, that’s the problem: in most every case (if not EVERY case), the intent is to bless, not to curse. The condescending tone belies the fact that, and I have to believe this, most everyone is really just doing the best they can.
Sometimes, someone else’s “best” includes advising me on something I have compiled a good bit of experience, prayer, reflection, and study on. So it hurts.
On the other hand: there are areas outside – even WAY outside – of my expertise on which I readily offer unsolicited and probably suggestions and insights.
Hopefully I don’t do so with any condescension in my voice.
Because, more often than not, I’m just doing the best I can.