Skip to main content

Emotional nerve damage and the ministry

A doctor has to deliver terrible news -- a patient has died, a surgery didn't go as well as expected. Someone who has been practicing medicine for two years accepts the news and delivers it differently than someone who has been a doctor for 23 years.

I'm at the 23 year mark in ministry and I now accept, process and deliver information differently than I used to.

Almost nothing surprises me anymore, and rarely does something catch me off guard.  I have a love/hate relationship with this reality.  I  don't feel things in quite the same way I used to, and have what I call emotional nerve damage.  Like most if not all others who have done this for a long time, there are parts of me that are numb. 

Sometimes when people tell me disappointing things I just stare into space and say, "okay, thanks for letting me know" and almost robotically move on to the next task at hand.  It's really almost like an out of body experience some days.  I'm convinced it's not all bad.  I've found ways to make it work for me.  One of the most challenging things for me is staying sensitive to the spirit of God, while growing exceedingly desensitized to other things that used to slay me for weeks, or sometimes months.  

I want to stay so sensitive to Jesus that when He speaks to me, I can be reduced to a pile of tears or burst into a dance of joy spontaneously, while at the same time remaining undaunted by difficult things that sometimes come with the territory.  It's very hard to be sensitive and not sensitive at the same time  but I think these days I'm doing rather well.

 The Bible says that it's impossible for offenses not to come.  We should expect them but not pick them up or harmonize with them.  The Bible says that tribulation and hardship will come.  We should expect it but not fear it or allow it to stop us.

Being extremely sensitive to God but desensitized to other things is an interesting place to be but a good one because some stuff just used to knock me down is now just a blip on my screen, and some days it's not even blip-worthy.  

Comments

I think most things still make a blip on my sensitivity radar..but I get what you mean.

Having taught bible studies, and gone to so many of them, I don't get the same number of "ah" moments anymore. In fact, I get hardly any now. It's hard to stay fresh when you've heard it all before. It's still the Truth, but the difference is that now I need God more because He is the one who will open my eyes. He is the one who will keep it all fresh.
Anonymous said…
I know God is in control of my life and I am yeilded to Him. Someone very close to me is not and his actions have affected me in a deep personal way. At this moment it is becoming more and more difficult forgive, get past, and go on doing what God wants me to do.
Anonymous, I am so sorry you are going through this. I can understand, for I have been there before. I will be praying for you as it comes to mind.

Popular posts from this blog

Relevant Church doing something...

incredibly RELEVANT!

I just heard some news today that really inspired me. A church here in Tampa, Relevant Church is doing a new thing this month called the "30 Days Sex Challenge." (I've never visited the church but Pastor Trinity - our children's pastor - has visited or has met some people from this church and he was very impressed.) Realizing that this is a major element missing from some marriages (the frequency factor) their lead pastor, Paul Wirth, has issued a challenge for all the married couples to have sex for 30 days in a row. At the same time he has issued a challenge for all unmarrieds to completely abstain from sex. Of course we know the Bible says that those who are unmarried should not have sex in the first place but the point is, a lot of unmarried's aren't obeying the Lord's command to abstain and this is just one pastor's way of trying to get them to see that indeed, there is a better way! (God's way!) At the same time, many married couples are no

This Could Have Ruined Everything... (But It Didn't!)

 No one would ever guess what happened to me this weekend in Jacksonville, Florida...so I'm going to tell you. :) As I was preaching at the Fearless Tour at New Hope Assembly of God this weekend,  I got choked up, literally. For probably 2-3 minutes I coughed profusely and greatly struggled. Then I drank some water and kept preaching. Everyone was gracious to give me a few moments to get my bearings. If you were there, you'll remember it! What no one realized at the time was that I swallowed a bug that flew right in while I was preaching! So disgusting! I said nothing because I was at a point in the sermon where I was really connecting and I knew if I said, "I swallowed a bug," everyone would either laugh profusely or be really concerned, or start feeling sorry for me.  And at that point whey wouldn't be thinking about the message anymore, but the fact that I had just swallowed a bug. They would then imagine what it would be like, and feel grossed out which

Why You Should Never Hijack a Comment Thread
Social media etiquette 101

One surefire way to kill your influence in social media and wear out your welcome fast is to become involved in derailing somebody’s comment thread with your own agenda. Networking and hijacking aren’t the same thing. It’s surprising how many people don’t understand that this is a guarantee for tearing down a platform as quickly as you build it. Passion is good, even necessary. I appreciate people's zeal for their personal core values. What is not appreciated is the attempt at a redirection of a comment thread when the comment has little or nothing to do with an original post or is twisted at best. Social media provides ample opportunity for all of us to share what’s important to us on our own platform. Eliciting others’ responses and developing connections largely depends on our ability to communicate and compel. Some people are open to receiving private communication from others although they aren’t always able to answer personally or at length. But hijacking a comment threa