Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s quite descriptive of my feelings. I’ve felt that way since my early professional days as a pastor. Those who work in ministry might be able to identify with the sentiment. After all, pastors and church staff, just by virtue of their positions, are expected to be holier and wiser than the rest of the congregation. Their struggles are beyond the mundane issues of the rest of the non-professional Christians deal with. Therein lies my problem.
While I’m not lowering the standards for those in ministry, I know the toll those expectations can take on those whose lives are supposed to be a living example of God’s promises, blessings and teachings.
Every single day.
All the time.
With a smile.
Life under the microscope of unrealistic expectations is painful. The days you question your career path, your spouse choice, even your faith in God are often filled with appointments, counseling sessions, public prayers, faith-building social media posts where you are supposed to be a source of strength to those around. You bear and grin and hope your eyes don’t betray you and show the doubt and guilt you’re desperately trying to hide.
But somehow God has managed to use even my hypocrisy to his Glory. I can remember on several occasions feeling defeated because of how empty and non-inspiring I felt through a message, meeting or study, only to hear back how my words and actions had impacted someone. Really?!
So even though I still wrestle with issues I should have won the battle long ago, as any mature believer would have, I still share my faith, the things I know to be true, even if I find myself in the middle of doubt. Because ultimately I believe in a good God who loves me and cares for me and fills my empty offerings with His grace. I don’t understand it. I wouldn’t do it if I were Him. But I’m thankful He does it.
Have you ever felt like a hypocrite? How do you deal with it?