The most difficult set of people you’re likely going to meet in ministry are those who don’t understand your calling and consequently respond to you in line with that perception.
And often, they’re not willing and ready to seek further clarification on things that they have heard about you.
Now as a minister, you don’t have the luxury of time to explain yourself to everybody. The work is great and the time is short.
Misconception is defined as a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding.
Till Jesus comes, you will still come across people who overtly or covertly perceive you in a negative light.
It is absolutely not right to allow the faulty thinking of others about you slow you down or demoralize you.
Anyone who doesn’t give you a benefit of doubt to get “your own side of the story” is not worth your attention and consideration.
Now don’t say this is too harsh. You see, in life and ministry, IF YOU’RE NOT PRINCIPLED, YOU WILL BE RIDICULED.
There’s a law of natural justice that guarantees fair hearing, and the moment that is missing, you need not to dissipate your energy.
You still have a long way to go. You don’t owe everybody an EXPLANATION or an APOLOGY.
The bitter truth is that somebody somewhere is already perceiving you wrongly and you’re not aware of it.
You can’t convince someone who has already fixed his mind and made up his mind on you without digging further into your heart posture.
Don’t kill yourself because of that. Focus on your assignment. Distraction is an ASSASSIN of ASSIGNMENT.
Human beings are fickle. If you don’t know how to deal with that variable of fickleness in humans, you will allow yourself to be constantly buffeted.
Remember when the Apostle Paul got on the island of Melita and a viper fastened itself on his hand, the people said he was a murderer and that nemesis had caught up with him.
And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
But notice what they said again when they saw that he was not harmed:
5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, THEY CHANGED THEIR MINDS, AND SAID THAT HE WAS A GOD.
Can you see how human beings could be? For Paul, he was “once a murderer but now a god” according to them.
That tells you how human beings are – they often change their minds.
That’s why you can’t build your confidence and security on what people say or think about you but on THE WORD OF GOD CONCERNING YOU.
There are young ministers today who have allowed themselves to be affected by what some senior ministers said about them.
I have seen situations (and I lie not) where older ministers told younger ministers that they could not succeed in ministry and that they would fail.
Imagine that is coming from someone you trust or hold in a very high esteem.
You will need the Grace of God to move on with your life and I will strongly advise that you should never take offence and you should never fire back; JUST MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE.
For one thing, MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUND IN MINISTRY. Ministers who take time to establish facts before forming opinions about people are not in the majority (that’s my observation though).
Somebody will perceive you wrongly just because you’re following the dealings of God in your heart that they’re not privy to.
But I want to say this Sir and Ma; NEVER BETRAY THE DEALINGS OF GOD IN YOUR HEART ON THE ALTAR OF ACCEPTANCE.
Never betray the dealings of God in your heart because you want to be accepted into certain cliques or circles.
It is God Who called you, and He’s the One Who will vindicate you.
So far the dealings of God in your heart are validated by God’s Word and witnessed to by the God-ordained authority figures in your life, you’re good to go.
I have heard negative stuffs about me in the past which also came from people I respected. What did I do? I simply moved on! No offence and no bickering!
You see, man looks at the OUTWARD APPEARANCE but God looks at the HEART – 1 Sam.16:7. Therefore ANYONE WHO DOESN’T KNOW YOUR HEART DOESN’T KNOW YOU.
There are dealings of God in your heart that you can’t share publicly now because the time is not just ripe.
You just allow God to use the activities around your calling to prove those dealings and they will be visible to the blind to the praise of His Glory alone.
One day, Bishop David Oyedepo and Bishop Francis Wale Oke with eight other ministers stood before a great man of God during their early days who had personal bias against starting autonomous ministries and he spoke to them in the same vein.
Bishop David Oyedepo told God after that meeting, “God, should I pretend not to have heard you, see to it that I do not succeed in any other thing I do”.
The rest is history. Never betray the dealings of God in your heart because you want to enter into the good books of people.
If you do that, you’re not yet ready for ministry. Everybody can’t be your spiritual father and everybody can’t be your mentor.
Just ensure that you’re accountable to your God-ordained spiritual authorities (they’re the ones who have a fiducial relationship with you) and they watch over your soul – Heb.13:17.
On a final note, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE never get too intimate with those who don’t understand your calling.
They will read meaning to everything that you do. They will see pride when they don’t know your heart.
They will see flamboyance when they’re not privy to what transpires in regular conversation between you and the Lord.
They will see “class” when you’re simply following the path that Grace is taking you, PLUS LOTS MORE!
So it’s better you maintain distant relationship with such people. They don’t trust your HEART and it’ll not be too good for you to bring them close.
At one point or the other, every one of us will be a victim of negative publicity but that doesn’t invalidate what the Lord is thinking about you and I.
Remember what Ananias said about Saul and the response of the Lord Jesus to him:
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I HAVE HEARD BY MANY OF THIS MAN, HOW MUCH EVIL HE HATH DONE TO THY SAINTS AT JERUSALEM:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 BUT THE LORD SAID UNTO HIM, GO THY WAY: FOR HE IS A CHOSEN VESSEL UNTO ME, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
What God says about you is much more important. Misconceptions abound in ministry but you just keep walking in love and keep moving on with your life.
GRACE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!!!