Ministry Monday: 2 Ideas to Help Prevent Becoming or Remaining a Depressed Pastor
The Emperor Moth Parable:
Have you heard the parable about a man who took an emperor moth cocoon home to watch the creature emerge? It was taking the moth hours to get free, so the man snipped the remaining bit of cocoon to help. Sadly, after that the moth was deformed and couldn’t fly. The struggle to get free from the cocoon would have forced fluid from the body into the wings so it could fly.1
The moth needed the struggle to emerge mature, fully functioning, and able to fulfill its purpose. As it is with God’s creature, the moth, so it is with God’s creatures – humanity. For the believer in Jesus Christ to mature and to enjoy their divine design, it will inevitably involve life struggles.
Discouragement in Life and Ministry:
In life you will experience trials, hardships, hurts, and difficulties. They are unavoidable, at times come suddenly, and come in various forms. It may be illness, financial strains, personal struggles, death, problems with children, or something else. You should also anticipate difficulties and hardships in ministry. Even though you know God uses trials to help you grow, they may easily leave you discouraged or feeling hollow inside. How do you handle it all? How do you walk through it as a child of God and as a servant leader? If you’re wrestling with discouragement and looking for some ideas to cope, you may simply need renewed direction.
2 Depressed Pastor Prevention Ideas:
- Choose your attitude –
The thoughts you think about circumstances or people drive the emotions you feel and often the actions you take. When you are hurting greatly, you are to adopt an attitude of joy. The difficulties of life that God prescribes or permits are the tools that shape your character. Trials in ministry make you more effective in the future. These hardships develop perseverance. Perseverance is a tenacity and intensity of spirit that refuses to give up and stays focused on the goal. Perseverance under trial leads to maturity of your character. God uses difficulties to reveal needs to grow, so that you will reach out to Him. Trials change us more and more into the likeness of God’s Son.
- Choose your focus –
To face the trials of today, you need to be focused on the gain of tomorrow. You must live today with the end in mind. You are to evaluate the present considering what lies ahead. You can endure the pain, injustice, and disappointment now because someday they’ll give way to a better existence. One day the scales will not only balance, they will tip heavily in favor of your good and God’s glory.
Be encouraged that your troubles can be viewed as “light” and “momentary” when you take an eternal view.
- Beth Landers, “Sometimes the Struggle Is What We Need,” Bible.org, accessed June 06, 2017, https://bible.org/illustration/sometimes-struggle-what-we-need.
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