I’m a pastor… but have a lot of improvements to make!
I always said that I would never preach anything I didn’t or couldn’t practice. And to that I hold, but it’s tough! Especially these last two weeks. This past Sunday I preached on ‘Thankfulness’. I am thankful. I am grateful. But, I also struggle with being self-centered, self-driven, and self-concerned. And believe me, it is a constant struggle. If I am not careful, I can forget all about being thankful, and instead, go around acting like I deserve this great life I have: good health, safe home, great parents and brothers, wonderful wife and step-children, a good job, successful achievements, and the list goes on. The truth is… I don’t ‘deserve’, I have been given great gifts. I need to remember that.
Similarly, this week upcoming, I will be preaching at the Waretown United Methodist Church… on persistence IN prayer, and persistence AND prayer. I’ve got the persistence down… but I can never get/give enough prayer. Same old problem… I am ‘self’ reliant, and sometimes miss my dependence on God.
I think most of us have these struggles as we grapple with God and gifts and dependence. The Good News is that we don’t have to have it figured out before we are counted as one of God’s faithful. One of the purposes of Jesus’ life and teaching was to show those of us ‘stuck in self’ a new way (Mark 2:17):
Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners
All of us are sick with a disease called ‘selfishness’. Like many diseases out there, it doesn’t completely control us or limit us (many people live their lives with all sorts of diseases and limitations)… but it is a constant source of limitation and frustration. Without it we could really be free to live the life God wants for us.
Barnegat Anew wants to be the place where people come to get well and make positive changes in their lives, families, and community. We are all ‘sick’ in the same ways… let’s all come together and get healthy.