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The Canker Sore of Ministry

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One of the things I hate most is a canker sore. They hurt. They prevent me from doing one of my favorite things…eating. I have one right now, and it just is horrible.

This got me thinking:

A canker sore is so small. It is barely noticeable (sometimes). It can make some of the easiest things the most painful thing ever. Eating, something that we do every day becomes so complicated and painful because of this tiny little sore that comes around just out of nowhere. Talking, another thing that is a daily thing that we do to communicate to others hurts so badly because the sore is rubbing against your tooth. It’s so small yet it causes so much pain.

Sarcasm is a canker sore. Big or small, it’s a canker sore. Sarcasm with our co-workers and even our students can develop into this canker sore in our ministry. Some remarks we make even though it’s so small, that seems almost invisible, can bring us to our knees in pain. Sarcasm has the power to do this in our lives.

When we share and spread little, but funny, jabs at each other it 1) shows that the staff allows such talk and tearing down of people and 2) shows our students that we think its okay to take a stab at someone even though it hurts but it’s funny so it’s okay.

On WebMD it says the best way to heal a canker sore is by time. It says eventually it will heal itself. If it gets really bad, there are some medicines to help with the recovery. For sarcasm, it can be healed by these same things. If there is a culture of sarcasm, you are going to need to take time and stop it so it no longer is a part of the culture of your team and ministry. If it is still painful over time, some medicine will be needed to heal and that might entail some tough conversations with some people in order to get rid of this sore in ministry. There is a cure. It begins with us.

We set the tone of our ministry.

Ephesians 4:29 -Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

We can get rid of canker sores in our ministry. I think we would have much healthier ministries, overall, when we take preventative measures to make sure these “canker sores” do not effect our staff culture and student culture.

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