Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Temptations to Discouragement

Where in ministry are you most regularly tempted to discouragement?

Have I failed as a husband and a dad? Have I preached the whole counsel of God? Why do I still struggle with the same sins with which I fought on the day I first believed? Do I really care enough for the people in my church? Is my teaching leading people to Christ or away from him? Am I driven solely by a desire to raise my own profile? These kind of questions periodically strike me down. 

This is Carl Trueman being interviewed by CJ Mahaney; and to which I can only respond 'me too.'

I'm particularly (and perversely) encouraged by his admission that he still struggles with the same old sins.  I remember 'confessing' that to Roger Carswell.  Confession's good for the soul, yes?  No, not always.  Roger expressed such surprise that I came to the serious and long-term conclusion that I obviously wasn't really converted...


Jonathan Hunt said...

Ouch. I am not nearly as far down the road but I am in the same boat as you.

I think there might be a subtle difference between 'struggling with the same old sins' and 'giving in to the same old sins', though.

Martin Walker said...

I'll add one to the list. Getting discouraged at being discouraged. Must stop wearing that superman t-shirt!

Gary Benfold said...

Jonathan - if you're in the same boat as I, then logically, surely, you're as far down the journey as I am - give or take a few feet? And it's not a road, but a river/stream/canal/ocean?

I'm thinking of renaming the blog, 'Who's that pedant?'

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of the following reminiscence of Dr Peter Goulding: 'Some years ago, a friend of the
writer was present at the conference in which Dr. Cornelius Van Til of Westminster Theological
Seminary was taking part. Van Til was already in his seventies and in the question-and-answer
session, someone asked him, ‘Dr. Van Til, isn’t there a sense in which as you get older, sins that
once bothered you no longer do so?’ Van Til, his finger shaking, answered the question
energetically: ‘Young man, that is incipient perfectionism. The greatest battles I have now are
the sins of my youth!’

Ron said...

Sorry, the anonymous comment was not meant to be anonymous. I must have prssed the wrong button.

Gary Benfold said...

Ron - with no profile available - it's as good as anonymous, isn't it? But it's such a helpful comment that I'll leave it in.

And anyway, it's the first thing of Van Til's that I actually understand!