“My ears are burning, someone must be talking about me.”
Or at least that is what we say in the south. I just hope it is good. What does it mean when others talk about me?
For one thing, as a pastor and preacher, I hope that they are talking about the message that God spoke through me this past Sunday. But that is not really about me, it is about my words. Granted, for the most part, if others are talking about me, I hope they are talking about my words, because I blog and preach and I want it to be a good way that I contribute to the community. Whatever community that may be.
So. If someone is talking about me, if my ears are burning, I hope that it is a good thing. Though I don’t want others to gossip, about me, or about others. When does it cross the border into gossip? I am not sure, but I do know that I can feel when I talk to others and it turns into gossip. It becomes more about feelings and the dark side of relationships, rather than the encouragement and checking in on others that a pastor has to do.
I remember one summer when I actually asked for and collected gossip, I didn’t give it away as much, I just started talking to others and listening to others talk about people not present. It was fun, inasmuch as it could be. But it was not satisfying, and it did not build any deep or lasting relationships. It did not help with the Kingdom of God. And after that, I was mostly sated, or at least knew that I did not want to get into it again. I may have slipped here and there, but I think I have kept pretty well to my “no gossip” pledge.
So. Why are my ears burning?
What other things could that mean?
Is it someone praying for me? Is it someone interceding for me on my behalf? I pray so.
Let my ears burn continually if means that others are praying for me and the ministry of which I am a part. As much as I wish I could will myself to be a better pastor and preacher, it is the strength of those around me and the prayers they offer up to God that will continue to help us build our ministry together.
I pray that I would even be content if no one ever said anything good about me as long as the ministry of Christ is built. But community ministry is not generally built that way, and so I would hope that people would encourage me and help me as I continue to learn.
Because I am still learning. I am learning every day just how little I can do. But I am also learning how much I can accomplish with others. It is that partnership, that dream and hope, that I pray others are talking about when my ears are burning.
Burn my ears. Pray for me.