Yesterday, I attended the Cicero Seventh-day Adventist Church where Pastor Kelly delivered one of the best sermons I have ever experienced. I say experienced because when a sermon is really good, it is not just heard, it is experienced. The emotions, the thoughts, the conviction, the challenge, the invitation to action, what you end up doing when the sermon is over, along with the place and setting of the sermon all become an experience that is not forgotten.
His sermon was directed to men. It was a rousing challenge and appeal to the men in the audience to live up to the title of, "Christian man." He ended by challenging the men to commit to encountering Christ daily by having daily devotions. It was stirring to see a pastor care so much for the people in his church to preach a challenging sermon in love and kindness.
Two of the several things which really struck me in the sermon was a reminder of the importance of having godly mentors which you listen to and how vital it is to say, "I was wrong."
I think the reason why these two things stayed in my mind is because of my experience at Light Bearers last year during the internship program. My last months of the internship were a bit dramatic and filled with some turmoil, to say the least. I have reason to believe I began to approach the need for disciplinary actions from the staff, whether it be leaving the internship or something else I am not sure, but I know there were many talks they had with me about a particular area of misbehavior and as I look back now, with more clarity, I realize how disobedient I remained.
There's plenty of things I could try to bring up to my defense. I could seek to rationalize it in my mind or even explain how I really was trying to obey them and point to some victories here or there. However, that wouldn't be honest. My conscience bears testimony against me, so in my mind, I realize, I was wrong.
After the sermon was over, Matt Minikus the dean of ARISE and one of the men who was keenly aware of my misconduct during the last few months of my I internship, and I walked together over to the house we were going to at. The Spirit urged me to apologize. I looked at Matt with a sheepish, apologetic smile and wish peered softly, "Hey, Matt, I am sorry. I was wrong. I was wrong and you guys were right. I should've listened to your wisdom. Thanks for your patience and forbearance with me." He smiled back at me. I appreciate the apology, I appreciate you and the staff appreciated you too and we had given you enough where we decided to be patient. Then we walked up the drive way where he stopped and drew a heart in the snow and then I added a 'J' inside the heart because it was for Josie, his wife. I smiled and thought of the days when I will get to draw hearts for my beloved and thanked Light Bearers again in my heart.
As a Christian man, it is important to listen to your mentors. God has placed them in mentorship over you for a reason. They have insights into where you're at. It is important to listen and obey and to admit, I was wrong, when you are. May you embrace the mentors God had placed in your life, may you seek their wisdom and obey it, and may you be humble enough to say, I was wrong, when it is time to confess.