“You can say that again!”
O.K., I will: “We are . .” No, I don’t want to go there. Let me make my point: In Acts 20: 28, Paul told the Ephesian elders,
Pay attention to yourselves and to all of the flock . . .
It’s possible to do the one while neglecting the other. There are elders who care little for the flock; there are elders who care little about their own spiritual condition. Either way, there are flocks that feel the brunt of it!
“I can see that. Either way, the flock gets cheated, fails to grow, and may even wander astray.”
Exactly. But balance is difficult.
“Why is that?”
Because we still sin, even though we may have been saved. You see, patterns from the old life hang on. There are those whose lifestyle before salvation was self-centered. It will take the right focus upon Christ as more important, and the outworking of this fact in one’s life, to change that sinful perspective.
“And those who have this problem are more concerned about themselves than the flock?”
Right. Then, on the other hand, there are those who are so wrapped up in “the work” that they have no time for self-evaluation of their own spiritual growth.
“And that hurts the flock also.”
Yes, not only do they model the Christian life poorly for their flocks, they also may become overbearing. They can so hover over a flock that they virtually smother its spiritual growth.
“So, one of the tasks that is important is for an elder to become biblically balanced. Didn’t you write a book about balanced living?”
“What was the name of it?”
The title is Maintaining the Delicate Balance. It is a book for the average Christian; unlike what we’ve been discussing, it isn’t for the elder alone.
“I think I’ll get a copy.”
It might be helpful; the thoughts from Scripture in it helped me. That’s why I wrote the book.