In recent months, I've spoken to quite a few discouraged ministry leaders and workers who feel like ripping their hair out and yelling, "God, they just don't get it!"
I've been there, and I know it can be disheartening when we pour our lives into people and those people fail us. Maybe they're ungrateful. Maybe they're apathetic. Maybe they're outright rebelling. And we look up at God and say, "See! They just don't get it!" Expecting him to pat us on the head, tell us how wonderful we are, and let us off the hook from this whole "ministry thing."
Sounds a little silly in writing, doesn't it?
Can you imagine if Jesus had just given up every time someone "didn't get it"?
Think about it. He was born in a manger...a feeding trough for wild animals. He grew up to be rejected by his own people. Judas betrayed him. Peter denied him. The Jews crucified him.
And as he was hanging on a cross...thorns crushing his brow, nails piercing his hands...as he was gasping for his next breath, he spoke those beautiful words, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And moments later, three words that would save the world...
I am glad that when I didn't get it, Christ didn't give up on me. And I am thankful that although I despised and rejected him, he has saved me.
Now, that, I don't get.
So, beloved fellow servants, let us imitate Christ. When people fail us, when they "don't get it," let us look to his example, humble ourselves, and be obedient to our calling.
"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." -Philippians 2:1-10 (ESV)