by César De León Ph.D LMFT, Ministerial Director for the North Pacific Union Conference
New King James Version (NKJV)
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
I begin with a thought from the inspired counsel: “Ministers are in danger of losing their own souls.” 2 T 511. This thought led me to do some thinking. Ministers are in danger of losing their own souls. . . so I ask why? after doing some thinking it occurred to me that the answer was in the nature of our work. We are supposedly representatives of God before His people. We deal with holy things all the time. Prayer, preaching, projecting God’s character, interceding before the Father for people who are desperate, needy, sick and discouraged. All day long we deal with holy things, whether or not we are prepared, ready or capable of doing so.
Such demands, may prompt us to develop a false self, a pseudo-personality that can and often does carry on with these holy duties although our real self may not be adequate, or prepared to do so. Thus, people that work with holy things are in in constant danger of self-delusion or self-deception. We put on this false self so often that at the end of the day we may come to believe that what we project to our people is what we are.
Ellen G. White, says that some ministers receive applause for virtues which they do not possess. GW 275
No wonder David felt the need to pray: “Search me, Oh God, and know my heart. . . We need to be searched because many acts which pass for good works, even deeds of charity or compassion, will, when closely investigated, be found to be prompted by misguided motives.
The best way to stay true to ourselves is by begging the Spirit of God to examine our hearts. This must be a daily task. We need to be examined, to be tried constantly to reveal our true self, our anxieties, our deepest motives. Do we trust Him or are we just so used to saying it that it has become a formality, a hollow platitude? The Spirit cannot keep secrets, once He discovers what is on our hearts, He likes to alert and guide us into the truth, that is His promise.
Take time today and check in with the Spirit. Ask Him to reveal your leadership or ministerial motives. He is interested in you humbly discovering your true condition because He already has the solution.