If you’re expecting a title like this to have something to do with sports you’re in for a disappointment. I have a confession to make. This confession is likely to confuse many of you. Are you ready? I’m not into sports.
I’ve never been into sports. I know very little about sports. I’m one of five men in all of southern Oregon who are not into sports. The five of us are part of a secret fraternity called, ‘The Fellowship of Poor Excuses For Men.’ Three times a year we meet in an undisclosed location to encourage one another and to remind ourselves that it’s ok to be a man and not be into sports.
I do know that words like ‘defense’ and ‘offense’ are often used in the context of sports. Why, I do not know.
What I want to share with you will be helpful whether you are a pastor or not. The question is, “How do we defend our hearts when someone has offended us?” Life and ministry are filled with offenses. People hurt us, step on our toes, betray us, slander us, gossip about us, and disappoint us. Or…someone’s church or ministry might be doing better than yours. You are doing the same things ‘so-and-so’ is doing but your church is shrinking and their church is growing. Offense. Here’s what I’ve been trying to do the past couple of years. Here’s something that helps me reduce the sting of offense.
I pray a blessing over the one who hurt/offended me. I fight the temptation to ask God to convict them, set them straight, bring justice to me. I simply ask the Father to bless their ministry, prosper them financially, give them health. Bless their family. Bless their church. I pray nothing negative, only positive requests. Praying this way once is hard enough. Praying this way multiple time is even harder. I suggest multiple times.
I have experienced that repeated ‘prayers of blessing’ over the one who has offended me helps guard my heart. Sometimes you need a good defense against a bad offense.
If you’d be interested in starting a chapter of ‘The Fellowship of Poor Excuses For Men’ in your state I can help you set that up.