The frustrating thing about preaching or teaching is that some people don’t believe what you say. You bust your tail studying a passage or idea from all angles, craft a beautifully structured message or lesson, and deliver it in an insightful and engaging way. And then people ignore you – they check the scores, make grocery lists, flirt, or fall asleep. They disengage. They disagree. (Everyone’s an expert on everything, right? Wikipedia!)

What is frustrating about teaching is that some people don’t believe you. But what is scary about teaching is that some people do. They trust your study, they follow your flow, they allow themselves to think what you lead them to think and feel what you lead them to feel. They believe you. They change how they live because of what you say.

This isn’t just for teachers and preachers, but anyone who gives direction or offers advice: consultants, managers, receptionists, parents, siblings, friends.

Is this something you’re prepared for? Is this a pressure you are capable of taking seriously and living with? Have you worked hard enough? Have you sought the truth diligently enough? Have you prayed honestly enough? Have you lived faithfully enough?

I know it’s about grace, but it’s also about responsibility. It’s easy to sleep at night if we ignore or minimize the impact our life can have on others. But we must face reality long enough to know that we do actually make a difference, and we must work so our difference is good.

. . .

NOTE: In light of my 30th birthday and in honor of the guys who have all the fun, I’ll be offering thirty reflections in thirty days starting December 19th. Today’s post is #11 (see the so-far list here). The only rule is that I have 250 words to make my point. After that just stop reading. Thanks for making my blog part of your internet experience.