For years I have been obsessed with the idea of finishing well. My long-term friend was a pastor and we often talked about the concept, especially when someone we knew in ministry didn’t finish well. We would try to understand what went wrong.
As a psychologist, one of my insights is that there is a lot of pressure on pastors to present themselves as a false self, both in their relationship with people in their congregation, as well as with others. It ’s like living out the old Greek word persona, which means literally “stage face.” A pastor must always have his or her “stage face” on.
Let me explain. It began with Adam and Eve. Like us, they were created in the image of God. But that image hadn’t yet been affected by sin, so they lived life through what we’ll call their real self. There was a sense of oneness between them that we see clearly when God introduced Eve to Adam. Adam responded by saying, “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh” (Genesis 2:23). He is noticing only how much Eve is like him – he’s…Continue Reading