Recently in a meeting, people were giving positive remarks about a senior leader. But one of his associates humbly and sincerely said this; “Thank God for all the wonderful public testimonies but we know the knocks, corrections, stretches etc. that we received in private to have these public testimonies.” That associate understood the blessing and burden of closeness.

Friend, closeness has a blessing but it also comes with its own burden. This is one truth that most people have not yet grasped. They love to be close to people. They love to be identified with great men. They wished the pastor they admire on social media was their pastor. They wish they marry someone else’s spouse. But they know nothing about the burden that comes with such closeness.

“They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on your right hand, and the other on your left hand, in your glory” (Mark 10:37). Closeness with authority is attractive. It gives you visibility. The glory, glamour and blessings rub off on you. But like Jesus said, you may not be able to handle the burden that comes with it (Mark 10:38). And most times, you cannot see the burden until you come close.

Do you know the other side of the man you admire? The man that treats you with excellence would normally be strict with those closest to him; it is this strictness that produced the excellence you admire. The man that blesses you with his anointing may also have some anger issues that you might not be prepared to deal with (2 Kings 2:23-24, 5:27). This is why it takes grace to relate with great people.

“…and to the spirits of just men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:23). The man you thought is an angel has his own flaws but you won’t see it because you are not close enough. He may be gifted in prophecies but he also snores; how would you know if you don’t get close? This is why they are just men, not perfect, but made perfect.

“And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married…” (Numbers 12:1). When you are close without being familiar, you qualify for double portion (2 Kings 3:11). When you see someone in his humanity and yet honour his divinity, you would be greatly blessed (Mark 6:1-6). Before you get too close to someone, ask yourself; “Can I handle the burden that comes with this closeness?”

© ‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria