Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Codependent Pastor

"It is none of your business what other people think of you."

This recently heard quote from a friend in ministry really sums up what many of us pastoral types need to hear, but are afraid to own for ourselves. It is a freeing moment to realize that trusting our reputation to a faithful Creator is a gift we can give ourselves and those we serve. (cf. I Peter 4: 19)

Of course we don't want people to hate us. There is pastoral risk in saying no to the wrong person as well as in our aversion to conflict and disagreement. Instead of being outer directed, which most pastors are, it may be time to look at our core, our center, our true self, not as servant, but as beloved child of God, the lover of our soul. Our identity in Christ is the origin and source of good in our lives. Which makes me want to protect the reputation of others, to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Being more liked or less liked is not the goal; being real is. Pleasing others is not the goal of the Christian life; pleasing God, learning to be true to God's own image within are worthy of our best efforts and devotion.

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