By Kevin Welborn / @theKevinWelborn
Honesty. It is the best policy.
Except in business, politics, and dating websites.
Wait, you really don’t pull down 150k a year?
No Christian I know would ever advocate that lying is acceptable, outside of maybe saving a life. However, once we become born into new life in Christ we have a proclivity to refuse to allow others to realize that we hurt. We will mention our aunt that is sick and our cousin is looking for a job at our Wednesday prayer meetings (both are valid requests, btw), but to ask for prayer for ourselves is a rare bird.
Outside of a “Hey, pray for me”, we hardly ever seek out our brothers and sisters for prayer. Is it because we don’t want to acknowledge our weakness? But, I thought that Christ’s strength was made perfect in our weakness? Or are or we afraid that if we ask for prayer for ourselves that we are being selfish or self-centered? Is it possible that we feel responsible for keeping Jesus’ record sublime and if one of His followers is struggling we in some fashion tarnish the reputation of the Lord?
I cannot speak for everyone, but I know for myself that the reason I wrestle with this issue is that I feel I will lose my own credibility. I am the pastor at church, previously I was the youth minister, and before that I was the teenager the other kids looked up to. Can you imagine the catastrophe it would be if Kevin admitted that life is a punch in the teeth sometimes? Surely everyone that knows him will abandon the faith in favor of hedonism!
I readily admit to anyone that I am a sinner and have had some dark days post-conversion, but to admit the here and now is a different, more clever beast, one that is not so easily slain.
My flesh longs for the power and the pedestal that the pastorate provides. I don’t want to write books, have a video series, and preach at every well-known conference. What I want is for people to think that I am a good, upright man who floats in an atmosphere where the entanglements of this world cannot reach.
Unfortunately, the goal of this desire is not found in the goodness aspect, the goal is found in the pride that lies at its core.
We often pray that God gets the glory for everything that we do at our church, but if we are content to let our church family believe that we are some spiritual dynamo are we not robbing God of glory?
Let Him do mighty works in our lives in the presence of others. Forsake this notion that is acceptable to die inside without letting your trustworthy brothers and sisters shoulder some of this burden. Paul asked for prayer from the Roman Christians in Romans 15 and the word he used means to agonize with him in prayer. Prayer for the Christian is not to ascend to some higher consciousness, but it is to approach the Creator of the universe with our needs which He can so readily supply.
Ask for prayer for yourself, cease living this lie that you are beyond someone else’s help. Allow God to be glorified in your weakness and your own credibility be forfeit.
Kevin Welborn is the pastor at Highland Baptist Church in Clovis, NM. He is married and has two daughters. He loves his native Texas, sports, and exploring creation. The most famous person he has ever met is someone you have never heard of. You can contact Kevin on Twitter at @theKevinWelborn.