To Risk The Heart
“Is this not the carpenter, son of Mary . . . ?” Mark 6:3
Being wounded in ministry is the deepest kind of wound, because it’s so intimate. To minister requires the personal risk of the heart – be it on the mission field, in children’s ministry, working with students, or leading a house church, or leading a family.
The goal of ministry is to make God known. The presence of Jesus is only manifested through a broken and open heart, through which His spirit is poured out. The minister must constantly risk his or her heart to the ones to whom they are ministering. By becoming vulnerable, we willingly become a target of the ones we are trying to help. Ministering with an open heart, positions the soul to be wounded.
Jesus had repeated, personal pain in His ministry. He suffered intense rejection by His family and by the townspeople He had loved as a child. But Jesus risked, once again, to love well, by reaching out to the people of Nazareth. He was gracious in His approach. He waited until the Sabbath to minister.
As He taught, they were amazed by His words and miracles, soon their amazement turned to contempt, “Isn’t this the carpenter?” They maligned him with their words, by calling Him a common laborer, the village handyman. He’s not so great, He talks just like us. Their contempt for Him grew “Isn’t this Mary’s son?” This was a cheap slam. Sons were identified by their fathers, not their mothers. They were, in effect, calling her a tramp and Him an illegitimate offspring. These weren’t enemies, they were the people He grew up with. How this must have hurt Him deeply. As a result of their contempt, they took offense at Jesus.
What happened to Jesus in ministry, will happen to you too. With an open heart, the life of God will be poured through us; some will be changed and will be grateful you were there for them, while others, will not. They will turn on you, they will slander, insult, back-stab and belittle you. But nothing must turn you aside from giving your heart away.
Have you been hurt by the ones you’ve been sent to help? Have you pulled back from the ministry to which God has called you? Ask the wounded Healer to heal your wounds and risk your heart once again.