4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
John shares the joy he experiences when he hears that people he has invested in are walking out their faith. He calls it his greatest joy.
I find joy in a lot of things. Family, sports, good food, music, and comedy. However, each of those things can cause me pain. Whether family problems, my team losing, or meal that doesn’t sit well, what can bring me joy, can also bring me pain.
So it is with people. As a pastor I spend most of my days investing in other people. Many days, honestly, I can feel like I am wasting my time. Maybe my expectations are too high or maybe I am justified in their lack of execution in the faith journey. However, when I hear of or see someone I have invested in walking it out, something inside leaps for joy. Over the years I have had people like Dave, Mike, Jose, Pip, Andy, Philip and others that have taken the investment and grown to be men of great influence and kingdom advancement. However, I have countless people I have spent time with totally walk away from the faith and fall back into the trappings of the world. Nothing pains me more.
A few things…
-I must take the calling to invest in others seriously. I must be both consistent and systematic in my approach to disciple them.
-I must pray for patience with those I lead. They will fail and some may even fall. May I have the grace and patience to pick them up time and time again as you have done with me so many times.
-I must understand that what can be my greatest frustration can also be my greatest joy. I must keep risking it all because the reward of seeing them walk in faith is the sweetest and most unadulterated expression of joy I will experience this side of heaven.
Lord give me patience and grace for those I lead. May nothing captivate my heart like seeing people get it and live it!