Taking an honest inventory
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well"
(Mathew 6:33, NIV)
Almost every day as I sit across from a pastor, missionary or ministry leader in crisis or hear pain through tears on the phone, I am reminded of what happens when we as leaders stop actively caring for our marriage. In fact, I often hear the familiar words surrounding the word “crisis” telling me that “ministry has taken over our lives,” or that the doing of ministry, the relentless schedules and expectations of time and energy have ravaged their relationship with God, intimacy with their wives, connection with their children . . . all for the “doing” for God that He never demanded of us.
It is so comforting to me as a counsellor to pastors, missionaries and ministry leaders around the world to know that God set a priority system in place to guide us to a balanced life with appropriate boundaries to protect the important relationships in life that must be managed before we respond to the vast needs of those we serve.
Most of us would readily acknowledge what these priorities represent. We may have read them. We may have even preached them. However, the honest inward inventory of what the realities of our lives reflect often will show that we may be a public success, while within the walls of our homes, we may be a private failure. How do we take this inventory? What criteria do we use? How honest do we have to be – and to whom?