Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Friendship and my mediocrity

A few friends and I are working through a book called 'Going the Distance: How to stay fit for a lifetime of Ministry'. I'm enjoying it far more than I expected. I recommend it for people in Christian ministry as a valuable guide; but also for anyone out there who'd like to know what ministry is like for most pastors.

There're lots of good chapters on stress, anger, family, sex, depression and self care. But last night I read the chapter on Friendship. We all need good friends. Sincere friends. Honest friends.

Here's an excerpt:
If I am rebuked by a good friend, it doesn't mean I'm useless, a failure or unappreciated. If a loving fellow Christian is thoughtful and caring enough to rebuke me, my self-esteem ought not to be destroyed. My self-esteem is based on my relationship with God through Christ, not my performance. Though my faithfulness and my friends' acceptance will help me feel good and value myself, I should not be totally tied to their affirmation. Indeed, their thoughtful rebuke will be a sign to me of God's love (in sending them) and of their commitment to me and my growth. Had they not said anything, they would only be committed to my mediocrity or my folly.

1 comment:

  1. That excerpt is SUCH a helpful one!
    And I guess, as much as it spurs you on to view the rebuke of a friend in a positive and helpful way, it's also a rebuke for those who are reluctant to ever rebuke someone else... 'Cause honestly, by never saying the hard things that a friend needs to hear, you're more committed to your own popularity than to genuinely loving them and wanting them to grow. Which, ultimately, is also about having our self-esteem grounded in Christ, not other people, or our "performance".

    Thanks for sharing Dave!
    This whole book has been brilliant.