One of the things I think shocks pastors more than anything is the people who tell you to your face that they are loyal, but behind your back they are slanderous. They are two-faced, double-mouthed, immature and mature people, that are hard work for any leader to deal with. Remember in the animal kingdom, there is only one animal whose tongue goes in two different directions – and that is the snake!
These people are two-faced – to your face they tell you “what a wonderful sermon”, “what a great pastor you are”, “how awesome you are”; but behind your back they will tell others “don’t you think pastor preaches too long”, “giving to this church is foolish, it is bad soil”, “this church neglects your gift”. What they are is voice pieces for the devil himself, as he is the accuser of the brethren.
Often as a pastor, you encounter these people and you love them, but when you start to hear what they say when you are not there, you get strange thoughts in your head. Nothing makes sense, and it is painful. There’s a reason we call it getting stabbed in the back, not getting tickled in the back – because it is not an enjoyable experience, it hurts.
What we must do is keep our heart clean. We cannot let those hurts and wounds get infected with bitterness and fester. Wash those wounds with the Word! Love everyone, but don’t let people wander round in their immaturity.
The reason people do this is because there is a natural desire in all of us to impress people – many people simply buy their cars for the reason to impress others, and so on. So these people live a mature and immature life because they want to impress everyone. They like being carnal and selfish and bitter, and don’t want to crucify their flesh and renew their minds and walk in love – so they just lie to your face, and just rip you apart behind your back.
It is good to be free from the desire to impress others, but then again, it is not good to just be throwing our mouths out all over the place. The best solution is to learn to control your tongue, yield your mind to the Holy Spirit, genuinely grow up and be consistently loyal to your pastor, your church, your wife, your job, and so on and so forth.