“You can’t pastor unless you know your own weakness.”
By: Taylor Hinkle
Last week, David, Israel, and I left East Lansing, and headed for Houghton, MI to attend the funeral of a former church member. It was an eight and a half hour drive, and I was given the privilege of the driver seat. While driving we were discussing the ins-and outs of funerals. Israel instructed David and I on what to do from the time of the first phone call from the family announcing the death of their loved one, all the way to the burial of the deceased. Then Israel shared with us how much of a blessing this church member was to him, and how they had grown to be friends over the years. He also shared the struggles, and the growth they had shared together. Some of the struggles and trials were shocking. As I was thinking about all that had been shared up to that point, Israel said,”You can’t pastor unless you know your own weakness.” Quietly I sat there trying to allow the truth of those words to sink in. “Why must a pastor first recognize his own weakness before he can successfully minister to others?” What is it about seeing a true picture of who I am that causes me to deal with other people’s needs properly?
We finally arrived at our hotel about midnight, and quickly went to sleep. Eight hours later on our way to the funeral. It was a time of sobriety, and a very instructive experience. Before long it was all over, and we were on our way back to East Lansing. As I was driving the thought kept coming back “You can’t pastor unless you know your own weakness.” It reminded me of a verse in 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 where Paul says,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
God comforts us so we may in turn comfort others. It is in recognition of our need for comfort that we are able to realize others need to be comforted. When we see our own weakness, and the patient forbearance of God in dealing with us, then we are able to tenderly deal with the faults of those around us. This is why I can’t pastor unless I know my own weakness.