It Sucks Being Honest, Especially When You Are a Pastor

aloneI want to jump into this conversation by adding to the “confessions.”  As I’ve already told you here in an old post, I have occasional struggles with depression, sometimes to the point of feeling like I can’t make it to the next day.  I continually battle the unhealthy desire to be significant, appreciated, and respected.  Just this past Sunday, I led a group through some teachings and ate too much of the food that was provided.  I am selfish with my time and more times than not, I put myself and what I want over my wife and what she wants.

I was extremely proud of Matt’s post Monday and especially excited about the comments and transparency that came from our readers.  Honestly?  It gave me chills.  I had never seen that sort of out-pouring of humility.  THIS is what makes us Christians.  We are in need of a Savior that loves us despite our short-comings, a Savior that never gives up on us and a Savior whose supply of grace always exceeds our amount of sin.  Now, here’s the question that I am pondering.

For those of you that posted confessions on our last post, is that the extent of your accountability?  I applaud each and every one of you for coming clean, but if that is indeed the extent of your accountability, your accountability just flat out sucks.  And let’s face it, although it’s quite a healthy step to publicize your struggles, if that’s all you plan on doing, you are not going to change.  Romans 12:2 instructs believers to be transformed.  In order to do this, we have to be healed.  Our healing comes from God, through the confessing of our sin to close brothers and sisters in Christ.  Here are some reasons why many of you likely do not have these close brothers and sisters to confess sins to.

1.  You say “the church sucks and none of the Christians are cool like me.”  God is not asking for you to find a perfect community because that does not exist.  If you find one, don’t join it, because you will mess it all up.  This is the beauty of the body of Christ.  We can be super chill and love people that we’d typically want to kill ourselves after just hanging out with for 2 minutes.  We have JESUS in common.

2.  You live by the creed, “Only God can judge me.”  At the end of the age, only God will say to you “guilty” or “not guilty on account of Jesus,” but until that day, you need brothers and sisters to call you out on the crap you pull.  You better find these folks.  Just like you need close enough friends that will point out the gunk in your teeth you can’t see, you need them same folks to point out the gunk in your heart that you can’t see.

3.  You say, “Well, I am open to criticism but he didn’t approach me in love, so I’m not listening.”  Well, go figure.  That person didn’t approach you the right way.  Could it be that….he isn’t perfect and has a sinful nature as well??  If ANY ONE approaches you about a fault, I’d personally suggest for you to just give him or her the benefit of the doubt and thank that person for taking the time.  Are you so important and untouchable that some one has to approach you like royalty?  Get over yourself, maybe?

4.  Leaders in the church, you don’t let people that serve under you speak any thing against you.  My pastor has always taught, “You need people around you that love you but aren’t impressed with you.”  I for one welcome folks at my church to call me out on stuff.  I have a close circle of friends within my church family that does this, and I love them dearly for it.  In fact some of them may be calling me after reading this post to say, “Why’d you eat so much Sunday, bruh?”

5.  Many of you just don’t have the time to find community.  Ok, I’ll just say it.  You will have a hard time convincing me that you are serious about living for Jesus if you aren’t a part of His family.  It just can’t be done.  It’s like being a fireman and doing it alone.  I can’t wait to see you drive that truck, honk the horn, AND get out quickly to get all them hose out and fight the fire by yourself.

We are told never to “give up meeting with one another.”  The context of this passage was close-knit communities; groups of people that ate together, played together, raised families together, and spoke hard truths to one another.

We have to have this.

What do you think?

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