Proverbs 9:7 (ESV)
Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.

2 Tim. 4:1-2 (ESV)
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:  [2] preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Whoever reproves a wicked man incurs injury and the job of the pastor is to reprove. Gee. Thanks a lot. The Proverb, of course, is not saying that every time you correct someone who is doing some wickedness you are going to get hurt. It is saying that people let go of their sins very reluctantly and when they are pointed out to them they react. Many times the reaction will not be very good. It will be negative. It may get you injured. It may get you hated, gossiped about, plotted against, sued or even fired. The interesting thing about the II Timothy text is that correcting the wicked is part of an elder’s job description.

We don’t expect everyone to see things the way we do. But it seems to me that this text at least says that those in the work of pastoring are called to suffer at the hands of wicked people when their wickedness is exposed and they are called on it by church leaders.

All this amounts to really, is a plea that you pray for your pastors, whoever they are. Part of their calling is to reprove wickedness when it surfaces, in the hope that the one practising it will show himself to be a true believer and repent. If not, there may be injury incurred. This is your pastor’s work. It is a glorious work. It is satisfying in a great many ways. It is also frustrating, and heart rending and painful and difficult. And quite often it is opposed, and the opposition is because sin was named and labelled and revealed. That is embarrassing and damaging to a person who has spent a lot of energy trying to keep it hidden. The knee jerk reaction will be to defend and justify and rationalize. The good pastor must realize that. But he will also work to ensure that such responses are not where it ends and he must as lovingly as possible seek to convince someone that this wickedness must be abandoned.

The Apostles left being beaten by their opponents by rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for the sake of Christ. We are to follow in their steps. Labelling sin as sin will incur all kinds of negative responses. That some  repent make it all worthwhile and one day, Jesus will really show us that the reward far outweighs the cost. Pastors should be very thankful that God has told them ahead of time what some of the reactions to obeying the dictates of their job description will be. So they treated the prophets who were before us. So they treated Jesus Himself. We are in very good company when we suffer for righteousness.