What's your inner demon, pastor?
As church leaders, we are up on a pedestal. 24/7. And there are always some people that would love to see you knocked off your pedestal. In many ways, politicians share the same kind of stage and platform/pedestal. There was an interesting article this morning in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper tells of one political figure who’s inner ‘demon’ has been disclosed (although he’d denying it). Robert F. Kennedy, the son of the President, recently had a diary discovered from 2001. In it, he records all of his sexual encounters.. at least 37 different women during the year (the same year that his wife gave birth to their fourth son). RFK’s wife later committed suicide in 2012. Read the article here. In the diary, Kennedy writes: “I’m like Adam and live in Eden, and I can have everything but the fruit. But the fruit is all I want.” He writes candidly, to himself: “I’ve got to do better.” Even more transparent: “After daddy died I struggled to be a grown-up… I felt he was watching me from heaven. Every time I was afflicted with sexual thoughts, I felt a failure. I hated myself. I began to lie – to make up a character who was the hero and leader that I wished I was.” He continues at one point: “‘I have been given everything that I coveted – a beautiful wife and kids and loving family, wealth, education, good health and a job I love yet always on the lookout for something I can’t have. I want it all.” I wonder how many pastors have been caught in this same trap? It sounds remarkably similar to some things I’ve heard from pastors that have had long-term sexual addictions and affairs or other secret sins. But doesn’t following Jesus keep us from having these demons? No. But it does give us somewhere to turn to help us when we struggle with them. Don’t get me wrong. We all have our demons. We all have sins that we seem to return to, almost habitually, that we wish weren’t a part of who we are. We try to turn away, but for one reason or another, it returns. For some, it’s sex. For others it’s food… or use of time… or… you name it. And like RFK, we feel the guilt when we fail. I don’t know where to go with this article/blog post… other than to pray now for each of you reading this. Jesus… give strength today as we do your work. Help us not to yield to temptation. Guard our families and our churches. Bless our staffs. Help us divert our eyes when we need to divert our eyes. Keep our thoughts clean, and our pants zipped. Cause the enemy to flee. Keep us strong. Help us to make a difference. And help us not to lay our head on the pillow tonight with regrets from today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.