Am I the only one who sees the irony in unhealthy healthcare workers? It seems somewhat backwards when the people caring for you at the clinic or the hospital are in worse shape than you are. Yet as pastors, I think we all have sympathy for the stress and pressure on doctors and nurses, and know that their hectic lifestyle may not make practicing what they preach all that easy.
If we are not careful, we can fall into the same trap in ministry. We can speak to others about the habits they need to have in their lives if they are going to grow and thrive spiritually. At the same time we can forget the essential of vibrant spirituality – the wonder and tenderness, the strength and sustenance, of a close, intimate relationship with the God who loves us. We as pastors need that friendship, that ongoing dialogue with Jesus and the Spirit who lives within us.
How about you today? Monday morning check-up time Pastor! How is your prime time with God going? Do you think of him, talk to him, consider him, and recognize his persistent presence? Have you been striving in your ministry, trying to accomplish more, visit more, preach better, manage better, etc.? Isn’t it so easy for us to speak about one thing on a Sunday only to forget it altogether Monday morning? Before you start on next Sunday’s message, is there something that you need to apply from your own message yesterday?
So today, what is the essential for you? What is the one thing you could do today to build your friendship with God… your boss? I mean, we do work for him, and we have the absolute best employer on earth, because he is willing to do all the work for us! Recognize him, consider him, and talk to him. Today. Build that relationship!
As the leader in your church you are no bigger, badder, or better than anyone else in your church – you just happen to be the Shepherd. You are the one to bring comfort and encouragement to others, and you need that same comfort and encouragement yourself. Remember the rules on-board an airplane for the oxygen mask? Of course you do. Yes, you have to help yourself first, to make sure you will be able to help others.
After all your caring for others, and speaking about the love God has for others, what about his love for you? Are you living in that love and grace he has for you? Have you forgiven yourself for sins and failures, just as he has forgiven you? Are you spiritually healthy, since you are the chief spiritual healthcare worker in your church? Take the time today to do what it takes to care for your friendship with God.
You don’t want to get caught being the smoking doctor, now do you?!
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