Sometimes even we pastors lack a sincere reverence for God. We may speak otherwise, but our actions suggest that we don’t really see God as God. In fact, sometimes we act as if we’re God—and thus become blasphemous:
- When we must be involved personally in everything the church does. If we’re sure that somehow the church’s efforts won’t be as strong if we’re not involved—or if we simply don’t want something happening without us—we act as if we’re deity.
- When we must solve everybody’s problems. The problems our church members face are varied and multiple. Many of them are beyond our training and capacity, but still we think we must solve the problems anyway. If we think we can fix everything, we think too highly of ourselves.
- When we refuse to admit that we don’t know everything. I remember the days when I didn’t know how to deal with my ignorance. I was the pastor, and pastors surely can answer any questions—or so I thought. I would rather have guessed at an answer than say, “I don’t know.” That’s arrogance.
- When we determine our plans for ourselves. Too often, we’ve already planned our pastoral ministries in the years to come. We look forward to that bigger church in that particular region of the country. We can’t even imagine that our ministries would somehow take a detour from our plans—because we’ve placed ourselves in charge of the plans.
- When we build a church around ourselves. Our pulpits must be a platform from which we proclaim the Word of God. Used wrongly, though, they can become a platform from which we build our own kingdom. We pull around ourselves our supporters, build a hedge around us, and choose not to raise up disciples to lead beyond us. When we use God’s name to build our kingdom, we’ve stepped into blasphemy.
- When we think we ought to be more recognized. You may know what it’s like. You watch as others around you get recognition, but you know you’re a better leader. You don’t understand why you never get the invitation to speak in a larger event. In fact, you might even be tempted to tear down others to build yourself up—because you see yourself as more worthy than others seem to think.
- When we cling to the praise of others. Maybe that’s evident when we love hearing, “Great sermon, preacher!” or “I’m really glad you’re our pastor!” In other cases, we find ourselves nonchalantly reminding others of all we’ve done, just to make sure they know. We love the praise of others almost like God loves for His people to praise Him—except that we’re not God.
Be honest, pastor. Do you find yourself in any of these scenarios?