By Paul Tripp
We get too comfortable where we are, we become apathetic, we minister to people but yet do not seek to be ministered to… therefore we are in a dangerous area in life and ministry.
Most pastors are angry, have marriage problems, have personal struggles and a much more.
Although we can see other people’s problems, we become blind to our own.
Our ministries are fueled by our personal devotion to the Lord.
It is my worship that can lead to other people worshiping. It is my sense of need to my Savior that can lead other people to fill their sense of need for the Savior. It is my joy and identity in Christ that can help others find theirs.
If I am not looking for joy in the Gospel, I will try to fill it in another gospel.
If my relationship is not right vertically, I will start seeking out things that can fill me horizontally.
We must look to God. We must listen to others. We must ignore the urge to isolate ourselves.
Having fantasies of doing something else or working in another ministry will lead to discontentment and bring on very big problems.
Just as a man who takes care of roses but never takes the time to enjoy them, so is a person that is so busy in the ministry but never stops and enjoys what is around him – how God is blessing, the good things going on.
We are fooled when we think that spiritual maturity is simply knowing more… It is actually applying more, not just knowing more.
Because of our vast knowledge of the Word, we go to her desk to get new sermons, but few times do we open it to really learn.
Knowing so much Scripture brings us to a knowledge/understanding, but very few times brings us to our knees.
Self-righteous people tend to be critical.
Our knowledge makes us think so much that we preach all these rules for people… but if it’s about rules, then Jesus came, died and rose again in vain.
We must not judge ourselves or any pastor in the ministry by the exterior, we must dig deep and find out if he pastors his own home, how his walk with the Lord is, if he is critical and judgmental, if he is loving, etc.
Be careful how we define successful ministry – if we think that a graduate with multiple diplomas will be successful, we could be totally wrong.
Maturity is about a relationship with God.
Sin blinds 10 out of 10 people.
Spiritual blindness is different than physical blindness – spiritual blindness tricks the person by thinking he/she can really see.
Spiritual blindness is so deceptive that we literally need daily intervention. We must establish relationships that can confront us. Be open and except criticism.
A pastor’s wife needs help, mentoring and accountability as well.
Do not let the busyness of ministry cause your marriage to fail.
You should come to the point where you know that you need other people in your life.
You cannot think that your life is fine just because ministry appears good. You cannot be deceived that marriage is well just because your ministry looks good.
It is very hard for a pastor to stay accountable and admit when he is wrong or in sin.
Many that have opened up and admitted struggles or sin failure have been hurt and decide to never open up or tell people their problems again. Most pastors live in isolation and silence, thinking this is the most secure and best way – but this is false!
Why are there so many pastors who struggle in their families? Why are there so many pastors that have problems with other staff members? Why is there so much depression amongst pastors? Why are there so many difficulties in the lives of ministers? The problems are personal; it is a war in the heart.
Problems are so great because there is a war in the heart – pride, wanting to be something, wanting to see results and desiring to measure up.
We preach to so many other people and many times forget to preach to our own selves.
We must fight to keep the gospel first.
So, in the war, are we good soldiers?
We are made to worship, but we must remember that worship is not an activity rather an identity.
What do our words and actions reveal that our priorities are?
God is our refuge and strength – but many pastors run to substance, sex, activities, friends, and other things instead of running to God when they have problems.
There’s a great danger of losing the awe and forgetting what God has done. If you can’t get your excitement back, maybe you are doing what you should not be doing.
Are we so busy feeding others that we don’t have time to feed ourselves? We cannot lead others to do what we ourselves are not doing.
We must be careful that our Christianity does not become a system of what we do instead of a relationship.
I will never measure up; Christ never saved me because of who I am or what I can do. I must remember to look and depend on Christ.
We have to learn to not look for other people’s approval, we minister to serve our Savior.
We must put ourselves under Biblical council. Sadly most pastors do not have a pastor, meaning that no one tells them when they are wrong, calls them out when prideful, helps them grow, etc.