The following thought has been on my mind for several days now: You cannot allow yourself to be angry or bitter with those you've been called to love and save (1Co 9:22), regardless of how difficult or disappointing their actions are.
Then Pastor James Coffey posted the following yesterday:
"Ministry has the potential to be discouraging and lonely at times. It is easy to allow that frustration to shine through inadvertently if we aren't careful. One valuable lesson that I've learned about working with people is that they are much more likely to put their faith and gifting into action if they are inspired. Jesus had the same life changing impact on his culture that we experience when reading the scriptures. He spoke truth that was convicting to the core of humanity, yet he did so with a love and compassion that inspired people toward faith and action. If you are a pastor or leader who has become frustrated by the inactivity of others, be careful that you don't allow it to develop into anger or bitterness. An angry leader will not inspire change or increase productivity. You will appear to others as someone who is angry and discontent. You will only push the people following you further from their calling and responsibility as believers. People feel compelled when they see us as leaders finding joy and fulfillment in our calling and purpose. Setting the example will propel others toward pursuing the same. True leadership doesn't dictate, it inspires. Correction and conflict will be necessary at times, but it will be counterproductive 100% of the time if it is done in anger rather than love. If you say you love them but appear to be angry, they will interpret your appearance more often than they will your intentions. Make sure they see your heart and not your frustration."
Then Brother Todd Sloggett posts this quote from Mother Teresa today:
"People are unrealistic; illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway."
Then I remembered what Paul told Timothy nearly 2,000 years ago:
2Tim 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
There's a deep, life and ministry altering message here.