Twice I’ve been directed to an thoughtful article by John Ortberg on opposition.
It is refreshing to hear it be stated in print what we pastors all know to be true, that
“Opposition is an inevitable reality of pastoral life.”
Of course, I am not quite sure I really thought about that before becoming a pastor.
Opposition happens, and whether we want to admit or not, we pastors can at times bring opposition on ourselves because we are careless leaders.
Certainly, though, opposition can be a gift, because through it we learn more than we could imagine. Ortberg puts it this way:
“I have given up the idea that there is an opposition-free church out there. But I have gained something else—an appreciation for the gift of opposition. When it comes, I learn something about my motives. When it comes, I get to test my courage. When it comes, the truth about my humility (or lack thereof) is revealed. When it comes, blind spots get exposed that would otherwise do damage. When it comes, I am given the opportunity to grow strong. When it comes, I discover that I am the opposition in more lives than I ever would have guessed.
”And then I meet the force stronger than any opposition. The force that can call opponents a brood of vipers. The force that can also forgive opponents because “they know not what they do.” In opposition, there is grace.“