Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness, addiction, or abuse (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
Pastors and other church leaders, here’s an announcement.
You cannot do it all.
You do not read minds, know the will of God for each person, comprehend all marriages or families, or see through walls. You do not understand all things. So, give yourself a break.
You are only human
Some people treat you like you are superhuman. Don’t believe that lie or accede to every demand. Hoops they want you to jump through will cost your peace of mind, and drive a wedge in your family. Don’t respond to every need.
Some will treat you as less than human. Don’t believe that lie, either. Grant yourself permission to make mistakes and be forgiven. Allow God to redeem the day without you begging for mercy from those who would dehumanize you.
You have a teacher
Take a breath. Take a break. Sit with God, and listen. Put down study for a while; it will not be forever. Let the Holy Spirit wash you with grace. We never learn much from God when our focus is on stress, deadlines, pleasing people, holding on to our jobs, satisfying the board, anxiety, or panic.
Focus on him. He sees you.
Practice what you preach about trusting God when times are tough. Read about his provision, sovereignty, mercy, and grace. This is the God who promises to lead you down the best path for your life. Listen.
I was going to write about how much the church-at-large needs to change in its general approach to mental illness and abuse. You may not want to hear that now. Maybe you need to know that you matter too.
Leaders of churches also have trauma, abuse, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health challenges. You need self-care, and perhaps professional care as much as anyone. Do not be afraid to pursue what is best for you. You matter too.
Dear Pastor, you are called to a high purpose, not as God’s right-hand assistant. Church leaders, you are servants, not gods. I know you know this intellectually and in your spirit, but is your mind at rest? You matter too.
Take care of yourself first. That includes vacations, time-outs, and days off. Nurture family relationships. If this seems impossible, maybe you have forgotten that you matter too.
So very much.
Today’s Helpful Word
Psalm 27:13, 14
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
******COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.