January 31, 2014

The Rev. G. David Henderson: Religious yo-yos!

— All the many Scripture references in today’s devotional are about followers of God and Jesus whose unstable emotions and lack of commitment to God and their ministries in troubled times are like the toy yo-yos.

Such unstable, up-and-down mental, emotional, religious, ministerial reactions by followers of Jesus in troubled times hinder God’s full usefulness of us. Job, in the Old Testament Scriptures, surely wasn’t a religious cry baby yo-yo. When God instigated Satan to take away every blessing God had richly blessed Job, he responded, “Tho he slay me, yet will I trust him” (Job 13:15); thus continued his unwavering faithfulness to God in the midst of his financial and material losses, afflictions and intense grief.

Modern day unstable, yo-yo religious leaders are manifested that the average stay of our present day pastors with churches are not even two years because of problems between the pastor, church leaders and members. Oh, when we pastors first begin pastoring a new church congregation, how we gleefully basked in the praise coming to us from our new church members. However, when the love from the church leaders and members began yo-yoing with their complaints against us as they did to all other pastors before us, such yo-yo pastors endlessly move from one church to another to pastor, running from church problems.

Such complaints could have possibly made us better pastors if we had heeded to such. Jesus sharply rebukes such fearful, discouraging, unstable, run away, yo-yo pastors in John 10:12-13.

I don’t believe there is any modern day minister in our generation who wrongfully suffers, plus is persecuted unjustly, sociably and ministerially, and is rejected as cruelly as the Apostle Paul pitifully described about himself in 2 Corinthians 4:3-9; 4:7-11; 11:23-33; 12:7-11. He, writing in Philippians 4:11-13, noted he remained content with Jesus and his ministry no matter all the innumerable, unjust persecutions endlessly against him as described in the above Scripture references, revealing he was not an unstable religious, ministerial yo-yo — thus qualified for Christ to use him mightily and effectively for his worldwide religion, because Paul was not a quitter in difficult ministerial times.

Christ cannot effectively use doctrinally unstable, mentally scared, emotionally unbalanced, sociably dysfunctional, yo-yo ministers who are fearful of spiritual warfare. Billy Graham once preached, “Christ has called us to the battleground, not the playground.”

Christ’s commendation and reward to those who refuse to yo-yo in difficult times is “be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).  1 Corinthians 16:13 with Colossians 2:7 commands us to “stand fast,” “rooted,” “established” against any warfare against us — never fearful yo-yos!    

When I sense my pastoral steadfastness begins yo-yoing, I ask Jesus to nail my feet to the floor (Isaiah 22:23), to keep me from quitting because of church problems.


The Rev. G. David Henderson is the pastor of Temple of the Lord at 611 S. Green St. in Dalton. You can reach him at angelsfood@optilink.us. His column appears on the first Saturday of the month.