The month of October is designated as “Pastor Appreciation Month,” sort of the Christian version of a Hallmark Holiday. Over the past month, I received a number of cards, emails, Facebook posts, and hugs affirming my ministry. I also received criticism of my decisions, theology, leadership, and personality.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells me to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
With that verse in mind, I am thankful for those who affirmed and encouraged me. I am grateful for their words. I am also thankful for those who criticize because they remind me that I am in a spiritual battle, and that I am to keep my focus on God and not on pleasing people (Galatians 1:10). The praise encourages and affirms while the criticism keeps me humble and dependent on God.