God’s truth in a Landlord

“I read your post on preaching on God’s truth in a landlord… and I gotta tell you John, I just don’t get it…  what about all of the slum landlords out there?”

This (paraphrased) comment came from a pastor/friend of mine last week. My response?  “What about all of those manipulative, cheating, sexually sinning televangelists out there? How dare you get up in the pulpit every Sunday.”  (Yeah, I could work on my subtlety!)  My friend nodded in agreement, but I could tell that he still wasn’t sold on the topic choice.

His response reminded me of  how entrenched our worldviews can sometimes be. They say we need to stereotype in order to make complex realities more perceptually palatable. Once we’ve labelled or created a category for something or someone, we can then take the box we’ve put them in and mentally store it away. Carrying the true complexity of all persons and things for what they really are would result in a kind of cognitive chaos… or so they say.

I think this is a tendency that we need to fight if we’re ever going to rightly discern God’s good in a created thing. We need to hold a more open-minded stance – struggle with the dissonance, embrace the grayness – and give enough benefit of the doubt to allow God’s truth to present itself.

So, where’s God’s truth in a landlord then? I could use your help on this. If you’ve got a true landlord story – good or bad – share it as a comment below.  God’s goodness in a landlord can be discerned  either way; via positiva or via negativa.



2 thoughts on “God’s truth in a Landlord

  1. JVS Post author

    Great story Larry. And very helpful perspective for my message. thanks for posting. The sermon video is usually posted by the Tuesday after the Sunday. Would love to hear what you think.

  2. Larry Luth

    We have been landlords for a few years and have been “burnt” by a number of tenants. When we started this enterprise my wife and I told each other we would not rent out a space we would not want our own children living in and that has been the level of care we have given to our properties.

    On 2 separate occasions we had issues with our tenants that caused us to consider how best to deal with them in a Christian way. When we purchased our 1st property there was a single mother with her young child living in one unit. Mostly she was a good tenant paying on time etc. then without warning she left leaving the apartment full of junk and us out a few months rent. The next tenant in the same space was a wonderful person and tenant until she lost her job, had some surgery and stopped paying her rent. We gave her the benefit of the doubt and believed her excuses and promises to pay us back. In the end we had to evict her. This came with pain for us as we had hoped she would come through. We have learned a lot in the process and are much more picky with how we pick our tenants. Presently we have 4 units rented, 2 to seminary students, one young guy who works with brain injury people and a masters student.
    All that said I am glad God does not treat us as we deserve but graciously allows us to stay on even when our rent is overdue and we trash His place.
    Not sure this helps but that’s our story.

    PS I will have to tune into your series and see what you have to say to us landlords.

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