If there’s one thing I’m not a fan of, it’s the goes-without-saying assumption that Christian leaders should basically pretend like they never struggle with anything, at least not in the present. If it was a long time ago, that’s okay, because it’s in the past. But we really can’t have our leaders admitting weakness in the here and now, right? Wrong!
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. (2 Corinthians 11:30 ESV)
Time for a trip to the confessional. Without further ado, here are 3 spiritual struggles that are ongoing for me.
1) Death to Self
I am entirely too self-absorbed. When I should be thinking of others, I think of myself, often at their expense. This is expressed in me acting like a real jerk (usually to the people I should love the most). Irritability and impatience too often get the best of me, along with childish reactions when I don’t get my way or when things don’t go according to (my) plan.
I write and talk a lot about discipline, because it’s one of my own problem points. Although I have–by God’s grace–experienced some measure of success in this area, I know I have a long way to go. I become discouraged quickly when things get difficult, and it’s a struggle to maintain the discipline I have built. It takes tremendous effort every single day, and I fail in some regard in this area constantly. It’s three steps forward, two back. There’s steady progress, but not without consistent setbacks.
I suppose this is sort of a sub-struggle of #2 and definitely related also to #1. I am so easily distracted from what should be the most important things in my life: faith, family, ministry. My days often seem to slip through my fingers. Before I know it I’ve wasted hours tracking a pointless Internet debate or with a mindless, unnecessary task that serves to help me avoid starting a more difficult (but also more important) project. I even distract myself from legitimate rest and relaxation by prioritizing work at the wrong time.
I don’t write this to wallow in, justify, or glorify my sin. Nor am I attempting to elicit any kind of pity. I just think that–as a Christian leader–it’s important to acknowledge that I am as flawed as everyone one else. I struggle day-to-day with following Jesus, just like everybody else.
Just like you, I’m fighting the old man with God’s help, every day.
How could admitting weakness change your ministry for the better? Let us know in the comments.