My beloved wife of eight years (our anniversary is today) passed along a quote to me a few weeks ago. This quote has become increasingly relevant for me in the midst of congregational life.
"If you want to be a happier person, it's critical to remember two things. First, certainly not all, but most people really are doing the best that they can. Really, they are. The second thing to remember is that almost everything is more difficult and complicated than it looks."
~ Richard Carlson, PhD
Jay Bakker once said that churches are hospitals for broken souls...the only difference is that, in the church, there are no doctors; only patients. I agree. Sometimes people (clergy and staff included) bring their baggage to church and function below prime capacity. In moments when I vilify and demonize people who mistreat me, I am reminded that they are almost always trying their best...even if I think they can do better.
God's grace is sufficient for them...and for me, too.