I’m not going to whine about how tough it is being a pastor. I could, but I won’t. Instead I will whine about how tough it is being a Christian.

Whether you are an introvert who takes action on the inside, or an extrovert who takes action on the outside, every action begins in the heart and the mind. This is exactly why the New Testament writers, including Jesus Himself, speak so much about having the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5), setting our minds on things above (Colossians 3:2), out of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45), etc. For me, that’s where the battle begins and ends. At least, it ends when I let it end. I’m really good at letting it go on, and on, and on, to the detriment of myself and everyone around me.

I was having a crap week. (Can you say “crap” on a Christian blog?) Some things I have been working on came to a head and I dealt with it. I’m one of those people who prefers to let people learn lessons on their own instead of lecturing people. I could tell people, “This isn’t working and here is why.” But if part of the situation is that the people involved don’t think that there is a problem, or see the contrast of the situation (whatever it may be), just coming out and saying it isn’t going to help them see. They need to experience the difference themselves.

The time came where I had to lay it all out. Up until now people were frustrated, didn’t understand why I wasn’t communicating with them. It can be a rough process. But it worked, for the most part. After I laid it out, the people involved said, “OK. I get it now. Thanks for helping me see that.” That was good. However, that wasn’t the big deal. The big deal was someone who was auxiliary to the situation also got it, but bigger in a way.

One night this person showed up at my door with a plate of brownies with white chocolate chips in them. Dude. One of my favorite foods on the planet. Out of nowhere this person proceeded to share with me some really cool stuff. Really, it was out of nowhere. They said that they got it, that they understood it, and appreciated the way that i did it, even if it was difficult or awkward for the people involved.

The battle that had been raging in my heart and mind did a 180. It was the first real, meaningful encouragement I had had in months, possibly even years. It wasn’t just encouragement, because I get encouraged to hang in there all the time. It was encouraging because it was a kind of fruit. I didn’t have to work it out of them, I just had to provide the environment for the fruit to grow. My world was rocked by a plate of brownies. That’s Jesus!