Confessions of a People-Pleasing, Arrogant-Minded Preacher (My Prayer)

I promise I will get back to the Walking Dead series in the near future, but I wanted to take a time out.

arrogant-bossBeing a young minister has it’s incredible privileges and experiences.  However, it also has a lot of pitfalls.

It seems that if I’m honest with myself, I’m a “people – pleaser.”  I want everybody to like me.  I want to keep all folks happy.  I want to be known.

If I’m honest, I can look at other preacher’s and I can often get jealous.  “Why don’t I get invited to speak at so and so?” or “Why can’t I write a cool book?”  or “Wow…I’m not making a difference at all.”

I guess my biggest struggle is with humility.  I want to be well-known, I want to speak at large events…I want to be liked, I want my ego stroked…and perhaps, that’s the very reason I don’t get the opportunity.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the me, me, me when you get to preach the Gospel.  I guess this post is mostly therapeutic for me, so if you’ve checked out, I understand, but I’m going to continue.

Honestly, I don’t want to be that way.  I’m not that way…but I am that way.  Seems like a complete paradox, right?  So what do I do?  First off, I need to take stock and relish in what God has given me.

First off, He’s blessed me with an incredible, beautiful, and loving wife – Kristy.  She is truly my best friend.  I love her dearly and she supports me, even in my moments of arrogance.

Secondly, after 2 miscarriages and lots of uncertainty God blessed us with a gorgeous, perfect baby girl – Harper Lynn.  She was born 6 weeks early and was in the NICU for almost 5 weeks after that…she had some life-threatening problems…but God used that little girl to unite the church on 4 continents to pray for her…and she is perfect and healthy and just amazing.  When I think about her, I cry.  She’s our everything.

Third, God has let me be the preacher at an INCREDIBLE congregation.  The Crosspointe Church of Christ is absolutely amazing.  God is uniting and moving His people to do wonderful works and serve the world in Jesus’ name.  I truly feel, for the first time, that I am part of the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth.  The people are so loving, forgiving, merciful, and gracious.  God is truly moving in amazing ways.

Fourth, and most important, God saw  before I was born…before I knew anything…that I’d need a savior.  He saw me and my arrogance-based thinking, my self-pity, and my jealousy…and He called me anyway.  He set me apart to preach the message of Jesus…and that message is that God came to us, sought us out, loved us, taught us, showed us, and died for us…that we could live.  He took my place.  He gave me a second chance.  He restarted my shipwrecked life.  He broke my addictions and my false precepts of love and affection, and He moved me to see Him for who He really is:  the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

I could never say enough, sing enough, thank enough, do enough to proclaim the wondrous and incredible grace and love of my Father in heaven.  He has truly given me so much…

So today I change; ‘er, rather I start working to change. God has set before me a piece of His body, His bride to help lead and teach. He has given me the responsibility to teach His words to this community, and instead of squandering it by worrying about what others think, or what I don’t get invited to do or speak, I’m going to glory in the missional community at Crosspointe. I’m going to stop worrying about what everybody else is doing, or what I could say that would be “cool” or show how “spiritually deep” I am…and I’m going to just speak of Jesus…that’s all.  No fluff, no filler…just Christ. I’m really going to strive to grasp the reality that it’s not about me.  I can’t do anything that God hasn’t done.  I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said.  There’s too much at stake to waste time anymore.

So I’m going to end with a prayer…and I ask you to pray for me too.

Father,
Forgive me.  I have taken the amazing blessings you’ve showered me with and I have squandered them.  I have taken everything for granted.  I’m arrogant, and I need your help.  I don’t want to be a people-pleaser anymore.  I don’t want to worry about getting invited to speak or being the next Francis Chan or Billy Graham…I just want to be Scott.  You have set me apart from birth to proclaim your word and I have turned it into the “all-about-me show.”  I’ve compromised my love for you to look and sound cool, relevant, and smart.  Forgive me.  Thank you for the life you’ve given me.  Thank you for all the blessings you have showered me with.  Thank you for all the rough patches and struggles that have helped to slowly melt away me…and slowly show more of you.  Don’t stop.  I’m yours.  Father, forgive me, and help my boasting, my glory, my excitement all come from the cross and empty tomb of Jesus.  Father, have mercy on me, a sinner.  Clean me up, stand me upright, and hide me in the shadow of your wings.  I love you, I thank you, and I worship you.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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