You are in trouble, and you know it. Because you know it, and you persist in ministry as though all is okay, perhaps you really don’t know it. Because if you really knew it, you would get help for the situation you are in. But you are not.
Is it money? You have been taking money from the church and so far no one has noticed. You justified it early on because it was only small amounts, and you justified it because you never get overtime. It was owed you. You've spend too much, and now you are in too much debt, way too much! Now you are taking more and more, and you don’t feel near as guilty as you used to feel. You are dependent upon the money you are taking from the church. You’re in trouble.
Is it gambling? The cousin to embezzlement is gambling. Perhaps it’s even the cause of it. You are taking from the church to feed your addiction to gambling. Again, you started small, harmless. Now, you are in over your head. You can’t stop, and you have to travel to new and farther places to keep yourself fulfilled. It’s a rush, but you know it’s wrong. You're in trouble.
Is it pills? You needed them in the beginning, and now you are addicted. You didn't mean for it to get to this point, but now you are big time addicted to painkillers. You can’t function above 50% percent in a day without them. You have multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors, and you are taking too many, too often, and have been doing it way too long. You don’t know how to get out. You're in trouble.
Is it porn? You need the images, the moving pictures. Years ago it was not available, and you were okay, you kept it at bay. But now, you can’t remember a week in the past two years when you were not involved with that “other woman”. Porn has a lock on you. It is such a part of your life that you can’t live without it, but you are so comfortable with it that you don’t realize its deadly grip. You’re fear where it will all end. You're in trouble.
Is it another woman, or man? Again, you never intended for it to happen, but you've broken your marriage vows. You can’t tell anyone, or you will lose your ministry position, your only source of income. You don’t know how to stop the relationship. You wonder if the person you are seeing will blow the whistle on you if you abandon them. You are really scared of what will happen, and you don’t know what to do. You're in trouble.
Is it alcohol, or illegal drugs? You need them to function, and you need them to escape the pain. But you know that your cover is going to be blown. It’s only a matter of time. But until then, you plan to just continue your pastoral ministry. Use mints, wear sunglasses, use alibis and aliases, and cover up all the evidence. One day you will be found out. You are hoping that day will never come, and yet you would not mind if it were tomorrow. You're in trouble.
Are any of these things true of you? You know why I am writing about this today? Because of our theme this week – the pastor’s kids!
You should reach out for help, before you are caught and absolutely have to, under compulsion. Why? Because of your kids! Because you love your kids, you need to seek help – big time help! If you initiate, you can get the best possible outcome. If you wait until you’re caught, no one will ever believe your sincerity to get better or turn your life around.
What to do?! Call the person you know, the person you trust. If that person doesn't exist, email us here at 200churches. Jonny or Jeff @200churches.com. We want to help you. We don't know you, but you can talk to us. Maybe that makes it easier? We love your kids, the pastor’s kids. Do it for them. Or, don’t do it at all, and wait to get caught.
If none of the above is true of you, thank God, and be ready to help others who are not as blessed or obedient as you are.
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