As each Sunday morning came and went, they became more depressing. The pews were being vacated by disgruntled souls who left to try other churches in order to fulfill their spiritual needs.
The preacher, perplexed by their dissatisfaction, tried to find answers as to why they left. He kept thinking it was the congregation’s fault for going away, not realizing that it could be his own fault. Every family that left the church further angered and confused him.
He turned to his friend, his trusted confidant, to ask why he thought they were leaving. Deep down in his friend’s heart he knew the answer, but he said it was the congregation’s fault, because if he told the truth, it could jeopardize their friendship.
The preacher was very egocentric and showy. When he administered to the people in distress, he couldn’t delve deep enough into their problems, because he really didn’t have enough compassion to lose himself into their lives. He was too proud of himself.
Since he thought he was a messenger of God, he was superior to them. If he put himself on the same plane, he would become their equal. Ego and humility need to be in proper balance. Enough ego is needed for its credibility, and enough humility is needed to be compassionate.
His consulting sessions would always end up by his telling them to come to church and pray about their problems, instead of listening and trying to solve them. Prayer helps, but so does compassion, understanding, and the willingness to help.
He never told his preacher friend about his faults. Until this day, there is something in his heart that pleads for him to confront him, but he is still too afraid of losing him as a friend.
What are friends for; to help by being truthful or withholding it, further estranging his relationship with his dwindling congregation?