Sunday, February 13, 2011

Evaluating Yourself and Embracing the Struggle

Today's ministry at GBC was not unusual. Sunday mornings begin early, usually around 5am, after a busy Saturday. That combination is not ideal but it's what works for now. With a part-time job and a full-time job that has little defined "hours", I sometimes work 7 days a week. Again, not ideal, but it is what it is. These circumstances and my personality work together to push me into being disciplined. I accomplish more through discipline that I ever will through talent.

For the last 3 years, I've taught Sunday school, then led Sunday worship, then returned in the evening to lead a prayer meeting / Bible study. When Sunday evening finally rolls around, it's not uncommon to let down emotionally, being both tired and thinking through personal interactions, comments and nuances of people's words. The temptation is to let the weight of the day crush my spirit at night, and to do this week in and week out. It's exhausting and many times I feel like a failure.

Reading Christian biography teaches me that this is not an uncommon feeling for pastors. Andrew Bonar wrote in his journals of times of discouragement and defeat, although our evaluation of him today would be as a faithful man of God. Wiersbe writes, "God's choicest servants rarely evaluate their own ministries with accuracy and balance, and often Bonar was too hard on himself." I certainly don't see myself as a "choice servant" but I am sure my personal evaluations are off more than not. Even in the life of Alexander Maclaren, a mighty expositor of the Word, we see that he was never satisfied with his own work. Again, Warren Wiersbe comments, "let God evaluate your ministry, for often when we think we are doing our poorest, we are really doing our best."

One final word from a reading tonight: Maclaren wrote to some students training for the ministry:
I thank God that I was stuck down in a quiet, little, obscure place to begin my ministry; for that is what spoils half of you young fellows. You get pitchforked into prominent positions at once and then fritter yourselves away in all manner of little engagements instead of stopping at home and reading your Bibles, and getting nearer to God. I thank God for the early years of struggle and obscurity. [108]
So let me lay down and rest tonight. There are many who have their opinions of me and point out my failures; there is an enemy of God who harasses and accuses, but there is One who judges with a holy standard, who has already declared me "accepted in the Beloved". These years have been filled with struggle but they are working to my advantage because they are shaping me into the man I want to be. It comes with a price, and that is okay, because I know the purpose.

1 comment:

hq32v9g487 said...

The last thing you need is to take the time to create an account on a casino web site only to discover a sparse gaming library or no games that suit your preferences. For instance, not all on-line casinos provide jackpot games or reside casino games. 바카라사이트 Be certain to browse the sport choice before registering on a site to verify they have the games you get pleasure from enjoying in}. The smallest edge only applies if the player is enjoying in} the chances completely, which few folks do. American roulette stays some of the popular casino games, however it carries a high 5.26% edge for the home. The home edge on slot machines goes as high as 15%; for keno, it's a large 40%.