"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing - for that would be harmful to you."
One verse gave me 3 very different emotional responses as I read it today. Hebrews 13:7... It began with a feeling of satisfaction as I read the author calling church members to "obey your leaders and submit to them." (Yah, that's right! I think to myself, as I puff out my chest, feeling good about my pastoral authority!!!)
Then a huge wave of foreboding engulfs me as I read how, as such a leader, I'm responsible for "keeping account" of their souls. Oh yah, and I'll have to "give an account" (presumably to God). Wow! It's not simply leading worship & preaching a few sermons each Sunday... no it's "keeping watch over souls." Am I keeping watch? Or am I just doing my thing? Can I give an adequate account for the people at Aiea UMC? Really? (Gulp!)
And then I laugh as I read, "Let them do this with joy and not sighing." Ah yes... Some folks do cause more "sighing" than others! LOL But the vast majority (at least at Aiea UMC) fill me with JOY!
What a great verse.