No one is perfect. We know that, don’t we? People make mistakes and blunders. To expect near perfection in the behavior of people is to invite much disappointment.
Yet, there are some behaviors that are usually "deal breakers." That is, they often lead to a severe breach in the trust relationship between friends, between a minister and the congregation, between a person and a team of people. (I am not suggesting that these behaviors automatically mean that the relationship with these people has come to an end. Rather, I am attempting to recognize some of the behaviors that often lead to a severe breach in the relationship.)
What are these deal breakers?
1. A consistent pattern of lying. This is often not a "big lie" but a consistent pattern of lying about matters so that people really don’t know from moment to moment whether or not you are telling the truth.
2. A refusal or inability to get along with others. Perhaps you have known people like this. I knew a preacher who was an excellent speaker. He not only spoke well but handled Scripture very responsibly. He was highly intelligent. Yet, he was extremely difficult to work with. He had a way of repeatedly turning conversations into verbal fights. Those who worked with him said that he just "wore the church out" with his stubbornness and antagonistic spirit.
Perhaps you have worked with someone similar to this in your own job. Working with such people can be exhausting and draining.
3. Theft. Certainly this would include stealing money, equipment or merchandise. Yet, I do think that plagiarism is an emotional deal breaker for many people. When a preacher is caught in a regular pattern of presenting someone else’s material as his own, there will probably be a severe loss of credibility in the minds of many, many people in that person’s church. I suspect that such a revelation will leave a church wondering from then on if the preacher is actually using his own material or not.
I would like to hear your thoughts on this issue. What are the deal breakers in relationships?