What I Do Does Not Define Me

Article by: Bridgehaven Team

Counselors Reflect on Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp
A Series to Care for the Care Takers of God’s People


“All of these led to one hope, one dream: getting out.  At first it scared him to think of such a thing, but he couldn’t seem to stop.  More and more he got comfortable with the fantasies of doing something else.” (p. 39)

All of the previous signs we’ve looked at of a pastor losing his way has culminated to this—abandoning ship.  While tragic I would agree with Dr. Tripp that it is not atypical or surprising that a pastor would seek to resign from the ministry.  You notice that this pastor became more comfortable dreaming about doing something else. He doesn’t realize that if he did choose another line of work, very little is likely to change.  It is probable that whatever he does he will still run into the same problem and find himself in the same place—wanting out.  Because until he shifts the focus of his identity on being with Christ instead of doing something for Christ, his value and security will be contingent upon the success or failure of whatever vocation he invests in.

As believers in general and not just pastors it is important to note that God cares more about who we are than what we do.  God in Christ saved us to reconcile us so that we might enjoy intimacy and fellowship with Him.  Yes, he desires to use us to reflect his grace and love and proclaim Christ with our lives, but that is second to God desiring to make his dwelling place in the hearts of every human being.  When we lose sight of this we inevitably drift toward finding our worth in created things.

Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”  Likewise a similar Proverb states that “When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD.” In both these verses of scripture we are cautioned to be careful of the paths we choose in life and how we choose them.  It is also customary that when we think we have done the right things, made the right choices, and then experiences the negative outcomes of those decisions, we are either shocked or we get angry and blame God for our debacles.

Pastors don’t have to dream about doing something else they need to find their rest, joy, satisfaction, oasis walking and talking with Christ.  There is no need to rely on fantasies and dreams to escape rather we want to experience the real riches we possess in Jesus Christ and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.  We can experience this no matter what we do.

535826: Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral MinistryDangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry By Paul David Tripp / Crossway Books & Bibles