그때 제 실수를 깨달았다고 하지만, 여지없이 늘 반복해서 똑같은 시험에 넘어지는 자신을 발견합니다. 다른 사람보다는 물론이고 어떨 때는 제 안에 제가 예수님보다도 더 괜찮은 사람처럼 보이고 싶어하는 욕망이 있음을 봅니다. 성도님들의 마음 가운데 예수님이 심어지고 성도님들이 예수님에 대해 더 알게 되길 원하기보다 제가 좋은 목회자로 비치고, 제가 좀 더 괜찮은 사람으로 보이길 원하는 욕망이 제 안에 살아 꿈틀거리고 있습니다. 제가 늘 싸워야 할 시험과 유혹입니다.
찰스 스펄전 목사님의 일화입니다. 어느 날 예배를 마치고 돌아가는 성도가 말했습니다. “이번에 오신 목사님은 얼마나 설교를 잘하는지. 진짜 내가 이제까지 만나본 설교가 중 최고의 설교가였어” 그다음 주 스펄전 목사님이 설교하였는데, 그 성도가 예배 후에 이번엔 이렇게 말했답니다. “날 구원하신 예수님의 사랑이 어찌나 큰지! 그 사랑을 영원히 찬양합니다.”
정말이지, 나는 사라지고, 그리스도만 남을 수 있다면! 제가 머물렀던 자리에 그리스도의 향기만 남는다면! 얼마나 좋을까요?
If Jesus Christ remains and I disappear
Rev. Abel Kang
This happened a few years ago when I was serving in a Children’s ministry in Korea. While I was in charge of Kindergarten department, I made a home visit to a girl who always seemed depressed and lacked self-confidence. I learned through a conversation with the child’s mother that the child’s dad had anger issues due to his own childhood hurts. I learned that he often loses his temper when the child does something wrong or make a mistake and would scream and throw things. But each time this happens, he immediately regrets doing it. I spoke to the girl shortly after the girl got in trouble for drawing on a sofa. “Do you want to come to my home one day? You can do whatever you like at my home and you won’t even get in trouble for drawing on a sofa.” The girl said, “Really?” and gave me a shy smile. I was glad to see a smile on a girl who never smiles. So, I shared this incident with the senior pastor. I think I was proud of myself. But, instead, he reprimanded me. I was told that as a pastor in charge, I should have be more concerned about restoring the relationship between the child and her father rather than comparing myself to her father to get her to like me. I realized that I wanted to show her that I was a “decent person”, a “good person”, instead of thinking about the genuine problem of restoring father and child relationship.
I realized my mistake back then, but then I discovered in myself the undisputable repetition of falling for the same kind of test still. I see the desire in myself to show people that I am better than others and, even at times, to appear to be better than Jesus. Rather than desiring for church members to have a heart centered on Jesus and the hunger to know more about Jesus, there’s a struggle in myself with the desire to appear like a good pastor and a good person. This is a test and temptation that I will constantly struggle with.
Here is a Charles Spurgeon’s anecdote. One day a church member said this on his way back from worship. “This pastor today was such a good preacher, truly he is the best preacher I have ever met”. The following Sunday pastor Spurgeon preached and this time the church member said, “How great is God’s love that has saved me! I will praise His love forever.”
Truly, if only Jesus remains and I disappear! How wonderful it will be if only the fragrance of Jesus Christ remains in the place where I had been?