Confession is good for the soul- someone once said.
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed,” James once said (James 5:16).
Then there is this. “Confession is like really, really healthy vomit. It may smell and get all over the front of your shirt, but you feel better– you feel cleansed– when you’re done,” Rob Bell says (in his latest book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God).
Thus motivated by divine and not-so-divine inspiration, this blogpost is about the random confessions of this preacher. I am looking for cleansing.
- I confess that quite often I feel inadequate to my calling and profession. I live with me and know my failings. Like Paul I frequently think that I am the “chief of sinners” and wonder why anyone would want to hear a word from the Lord from me. I confess to still being amazed when someone is nudged closer to God by something I said. (All I can say is there is indeed power in the gospel.)
- I confess that frequently I feel inadequate to be a father to my girls at home (age 11 and 7). I feel for them because they have an “older dad” (Not long ago, when I picked Jordan up from school her classmate saw me and yelled to Jordan, “your grandfather is here.” Yep. lol). This weighs on my heart and mind.
- I confess to not trusting in God fully when it comes to finances. Being in ministry does not equate necessarily to financial security. When I was younger I had more faith here. Now, I worry about the next ten or fifteen years. What will happen in my so-called retirement years? Will we be able to send our girls to college? I do believe in God’s providential care. I just keep praying for God to help my unbelief.
- I confess that I am not the easiest guy to approach. That is not what is in my heart, but it must be somehow on my countenance- so I have been told. I have tried working on this– making happier faces in the mirror , but I think folks still are sometimes hesitant to approach me.
- I confess to being impatient (just ask my girls) on occasion. I try diligently to “be angry and sin not.” Sometimes I manage to do it. And I do pray for God to temper me more and more with his Spirit.
- I confess to zealously guarding the unity of God’s church. I confess to not understanding why anyone would want to tamper with it. This has occasionally tested my patience.
- I confess that I love my wife passionately, but do not let her know frequently enough. She sacrifices so much for me and the girls.
- I confess that even after all of these years of ministry with all of the layers of experience it brings, it still hurts when I see the church not growing. If I undersand God’s will correctly, we are not called to maintain status quo, but to work to expand the kingdom. It kicks me in the gut when the church is content to remain static.
- I confess to struggling with ego. At times- secretly of course- I have coveted, wanting to be the keynote speaker at all the big stuff; the famous Christian author (of course it would help if I wrote a book!) and preacher in demand. Yea, I know- wrong motivation. Sometimes the flesh is weak. This is not the problem it once was, however.
- I confess to not always having treated people gently and with respect- especially those who have a different worldview than mine. I confess to occasionally being too judgmental and prejudicial towards others- acting out of fear rather than faith; looking for ways to avoid instead of engage.
- I confess to having been occasionally hurt by comments like, “As a preacher, you only have to work two or three hours a week.” Or, “If you had a real job….” Or, “you should have known our old preacher- boy, he was really good.” Now, I realize most of this is said in jest, but even after hearing it all over the years, I confess to still being stung a little on occasion. For most of us preachers, our work is not only a profession- it is who we are and there is no amount of compartmentalizing that can change that. This is not a complaint. We would not have it any other way. But to think we just sit around and do nothing except for a couple hours a week….
- Having said that, I confess that I love my “job” and have been blessed beyond measure through it and through all of God’s people who have graciously encouraged and supported me over the years.
- And finally, I confess to not having all the answers. Once upon a time, I thought I did. Things were so much simpler then.
So there you have it. I do feel better. Thanks for indulging me.