Two Things I Dislike

I dislike two things: seeing people dozing during the sermon and seeing people enter the sanctuary after the service has started.

There are two reasons why I dislike it when people sleep during the sermon. First, I feel like they’re sending me a message that my sermon is so boring that they can’t remain awake. The truth may be that they’re just physically too tired, but that’s the impression I get. Second, it makes them look lazy. When someone sleeps while the people around them are awake and working, they seem lazy. So when someone sleeps during the sermon while others are listening attentively, I can’t help but feel like that person is lazy. And I dislike lazy people.

I don’t explicitly tell our members to not sleep during sermons, but I do say this to the pastors who attend our house church seminars. I tell them how much I dislike seeing people sleeping in class and ask that when they feel sleepy, that they move around, stand against the wall, go out and wash their face, or drink a cup of coffee. I need to do this because most of them come from different time zones, some as far as Korea, and they have difficulty keeping awake.

There are also two reasons why I dislike people who come to worship services late. First, I feel that it is impolite. It’s like being late for an appointment with someone. Walking in while the service is in progress and disrupting it feels rude to me. Second, they seem arrogant. The start time for services is like an agreement among church members. Ignoring this seems to give the message, “Only you are bound by this agreement. I am above it.”

Someone posted an article on our church Web board written by an executive officer of a well known Korean bank. He listed some fatherly advice for his son. The first one he listed was, “Do not become business partners with people who are chronically late for appointments; he may be a person who cannot keep his promises.”

My prayer request for the 333 Prayer Partners is to grant me a gentle heart. A man with a gentle heart should not dislike people. This is exactly why I made this prayer request; I don’t have a gentle heart… yet. At the end of the year I may have one through the 333 Prayer Partners’ constant prayer. But until then, please don’t tempt my weakness into disliking people. Don’t sleep during sermons and come to the services on time.

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