"Glass House For Sale! One Owner, Clean, Move-in Ready!" - Joey Ferrell - The Preacher in Steel-Toed Boots

For Sale:  A beautifully crafted, one-owner, clean glass house that is move-in ready!

You may already be laughing a bit, or maybe not.  The title of the blog is made up.  I am not leaving ministry work - nor do I have a glass house for sale.  But, I do have some thoughts about why you maybe should "buy one" if you are a Christian.  Interested?  Keep reading.

The Glass House - a perspective of a minister

I can't tell you how many times that I have heard phrases related to preachers and their families living in "glass houses."  If you are unfamiliar with the concept, let's take a pause and let me explain...

A preacher and his family are sometimes held to a pretty high standard of living.  Some might say that they should be, others may agree that sometimes this is a bit harsh.  The "glass house" concept is such that would say that a preacher lives his life in the public eye - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

Some examples of this concept that I have seen in my own life are sometimes simple; yet, challenging.  Take a few of these for example:

1.  Mowing my own yard, out of sight from anyone else on a pretty private setting and I decide to take off my shirt in the heat.  This is innocent, and of course there is not a scripture that says "men must wear shirts," however, in my own concern for modesty, I do not go without a shirt in public settings most times (I say most, not all because I live in a glass house).  This day, someone decided to visit and they walked around my house, and right into my backyard.  No shirt.  No invitation to come into my backyard.  No smile on their face when they saw me without a shirt on. Nothing was said...but it didn't have to be to know the thoughts.

2.  Enjoying some live music somewhere where alcohol is being served (or other activities may be lurking).  Regardless of my own actions, I have been told that this "does not look good."

3.  I rode in the MS 150 bike ride for 10 years, raising over $15,000 for research for MS.  The last year I rode I decided would be my last because I got a pretty condemning email from a fellow preacher telling me that I needed to repent because this ride's major sponsor is Jack Daniels, and my riding in it - wearing the promotional shirts, stopping at the rest areas where signage was, and eating on the Jack Daniels Campus that evening was a hindrance to others.

4.  The infamous phrase that I have heard from even my own family members: "you are supposed to be a preacher." (don't get me wrong, there are some that I may want to say this to myself (James 3:1)

This is not a plea for personal piety, nor is it an opportunity for anyone to debate any of these items, or argue about the validity of them.  On the contrary...let me explain why I really have become more pleased to live in a "glass house."

Jesus prayed (John 17) to His Father on the night of His arrest that His disciples could live in the world (as He had been sent to do), but be kept from the evil one.  Our lives are filled with opportunities for the evil one to take hold, and certainly, a preacher, an elder, a deacon, or their families are in no way exempt from this challenge.

What I find is that when others move me into a glass house, my temptations do not get weaker, but the need to fight them off, gets stronger.  I need to be the example of being transformed for others to see, and not conformed as most of the world will be. (Rom 12:1-2)

So, it is with this thought that I encourage Christians - look for a glass house to buy.  While there is negative light shining around such, I truly believe that living in a glass house for almost 10 years as a minister/preacher has strengthened my journey on this earth, and drawn me closer to God. (James 4)

It is my encouragement to you, Christian, that you do not find dismay in the world looking differently at you and your families.  Jesus said in that same passage in John 17 that He was not of this world - and neither are we if we are imitating Him.

Tread on brothers and sisters...and get out some glass cleaner to clean that glass once your purchase your very own glass house.  There will be many that want to clean the outside, but remember, a blemish can be on either side of a glass.  Your job is to keep your side clean so that others can clearly see how to keep theirs clean.

May God bless you all in your daily journey.

 

Joey Ferrell