Let these words of Paul Tripp penetrate your heart and speak to you today:
Ministry had become my identity. I didn’t think of myself as a child of God, in daily need of grace, in the middle of my own sanctification, still in a battle with sin, still in need of the body of Christ, and called to pastoral ministry. No, I thought of myself as a pastor. That’s it, bottom line. The office of pastor was more than a calling and a set of God-given gifts that had been recognized by the body of Christ. “Pastor” defined me. It was me in a way that proved to be more dangerous than I would have thought.
No one celebrates the presence and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ more than the person who has embraced his desperate and daily need of it. But in ways I now find embarrassing, ministry told me that I was not like everyone else, that I existed in a unique category. And if I was not like everyone else, then I didn’t need what everyone else needs.
At home it was all too easy to mete out judgment without grace. I had let my ministry become something that it should never be (my identity), and I looked to it to give me what it never could (my inner sense of well-being).