October 19, 2020
reported by some that ministers receive
special treatment. This is true.
If truly called, New Testament ministers
receive special biblical insights,
visions of the Lord, messages from Him,
ministry gifts, speaking invitations,
calls to missions, and anointings of His
Spirit for ministry. And the special
treatment doesn't end there.
also receive special training from
schools and / or the Holy Spirit,
special seating at banquets, special
honors from religious universities,
special visibility at meetings, special
influence in church decisions, special
gifts from grateful congregants, and, in
former years, special discounts on taxes
and other items.
But their special treatment doesn't end
with these enviable things.
Ministers also receive special attention
from Satan, special mental and spiritual
buffetings from demons, special
temptations to sin or selfishness,
special calls to fast and pray, special
hardships on missions, and a special
inner drive to study till they're spent,
preach till they're hoarse, and pray
while others play.
They also receive special hatred from
cynics, special envy from their peers,
special slander from gossips, and
special assaults from the violent,
cursings from the crude, and
micro-criticisms from nitpickers.
Additionally, they receive special
responsibility for souls under their
care, special grief when their disciples
fail to grow or backslide, and special
challenges to graciously correct proud
or stubborn Christians - or fellow
They also experience special weariness
from unrelieved ministry burdens, the
special loneliness of truly spiritual
leadership, special defeats to keep them
humble, and special wounds and
heartbreakings that, once overcome,
increase their power to comfort the
wounded and heartbroken.
They face special tests of faith, endure
special seasons of delay, and suffer
specially difficult people who trouble
and divide their churches, thorny
deacons who usurp their authority, and
spiteful enemies who continually nail
them to crosses of misrepresentation -
while claiming God is with them!
Besides these special adversities, they
face specially close and constant
examination by Christ, and receive
special punishments from Him for
rebellion or unfaithfulness.
So, my friend, what you've heard is
true: ministers do receive special
treatment. But in more ways than one!
So, as James wisely advises us, we
should not rush headlong into ministry
blinded by religious ambition, but step
into it only when distinctly called of
God, well trained in His Word, and
sufficiently tested in life - and with a
humble heart and sober head, knowing the
full scope of the "special treatment"
that lies ahead.
"Not many of you should presume to be
teachers, my brothers, because you know
that we who teach will be judged more
strictly" (James 3:1, NIV). Or, "Don’t
be in any rush to become a teacher, my
friends. Teaching is highly responsible
work. Teachers are held to the strictest