We are not perfect people. We make mistakes. We treat others poorly, both intentionally and unintentionally. We sometimes do not live up to our own standards.
The result: we are hard on ourselves more than we should be.
Ministry leaders have been notorious at being hard on themselves for not meeting the various expectations in and around their church communities.
The mistakes leaders make can haunt them for the better part of their ministry lives and these mistakes have a tendency to make ministers feel like they are not worthy of forgiveness. They beat themselves up and end up spiraling deeper down the hole of self-sabotage.
The spiritually wonderful reality, however, is we have already been forgiven by God. With the power of God’s forgiveness, we can then forgive ourselves. Forgiving ourselves is one of the most important things we can do for our overall self-care.
Paul, to the church in Corinth, said, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
The ability to forgive yourself is hard work. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes patience. It takes prayer.
It is what our pastors and leaders need to effectively minister to their communities.
On the other side of this hard work, however, is freedom.
“Lord, mistakes will happen. We pray that the mistakes our leaders make won’t be their undoing. We pray that You can help our leaders see their mistakes as building blocks toward freedom and effective growth. Give them the boldness to forgive themselves, as You have already forgiven them.”
Let us stand in the gap for our leaders this week.