I am so grateful for the ministry of The Gospel Coalition, if for no other reason than for articles such as this. Some backstory.
- As many of you know, one of my brothers in the Lord and in ministry Tommy Rucker ended his life last week. He found himself in a very dark place, but no one was aware of this until it was too late.
- I preached from Romans 13:8-14 and 15:1-7 on how we are to love one another, encouraging one another in the Scriptures, especially in our weakness. We have to take care of one another.
- I’m reading through Alexander Strauch’s Love or Die: Christ’s Wake-Up Call to the Church, a study of Revelation 2:1-7 on how we must not lose our first love. A lack of love inside the church is more devastating to that church than a lack of truth from outside the church. God is using this book mightily in my own heart.
- Art Azurdia, one of my favorite preachers (who has lost a lot of weight—good for him), spoke to The Master’s Seminary about “Loving God First” from the text – you guessed it – Revelation 2:1-7.
And now, this article from TGC of “Pastor, Stop Lying.” Here’s an excerpt regarding how one reacted to a fellow pastor for a reason you might not expect:
When asked how he was doing, he always replied, “Great!” When asked what he needed prayer for, he always offered some generic request.
He kept things guarded, impersonal, and close to the vest, even when others around him shared the depths of their heart. I don’t think I ever heard him apologize to anyone for anything, ever.
Yet he smiled a lot. He laughed heartily and kept things as “positive” as possible. But I saw how the people closest to him were positively crushed by his lack of vulnerability. I was one of them.
I shared with a deacon of mine who asked me how things were going, and I was able to share with him some issues that were arising personally (with my friend Tommy’s suicide), and otherwise. I then shared with him that, as a pastor, I am more comfortable providing comfort to those who are hurting, than I am sharing my hurt in order to receive comfort.
I need to get over that and fight that.
I am a Christian on a journey to the Celestial City as every other pilgrim. I also get mired in the Slough of Despond. I am tempted to listen to and dine with Worldly Wiseman. As are we all. And we need each other. And by me loving my Lord, loving His Word, loving my family, and loving His church, I have a significant incentive to keep my relationship with Christ primary. And I have incentive to bring others into my life to make sure I’m not just giving help, but receiving it when necessary.
Am I lying to my church? I’m sure I have.
May God continue to give me the desire not to do so anymore.