They caught me off guard with their criticism. They said I blog about “my” Church a lot. I said, “Yes.” Then, they said, “Your posts always refer to the Church you lead as ‘MY’ Church.” They informed me that it was not my Church, and I was a horrible leader for communicating it that way. Then they ended by saying they were not coming back to this Church because I was such an egotistical leader.
In my conversations that followed, it became clear that they did not like me and had been looking for a reason to leave. They took notes on every sermon listening for a bit of heresy or doctrinal miscommunication. They read every blog trying to catch me in some statement they disapproved. Every conversation was geared to be a mental recording to hear me in some error or ungodly behavior. Well, it didn’t take long for them to find what they were looking for in my words. After a few weeks of looking for something negative, they had quite a list.
I have often wondered what would have happened if they had set their minds in a different direction. What if they said, “I don’t think we agree with this guy, but let’s find a reason to like him.” I bet they could have come up with a completely different list of positive attributes of my ministry.
The truth is that you will always find what you are looking for in your interactions with anyone. What you want to see is what you will see.