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From Duty to Delight

I'd become self-absorbed and numb. Could I learn to live and love again?

It took me a while to realize that ministry had become all about me. On Sundays my wife, Gayle, got herself and our kids ready while I was busing everyone else's kids to church. On our daughter's first birthday, I ran to the church ("just for a moment") and a guy snagged me to talk about his marriage problems. I got so wrapped up that I forgot my family was waiting for me! When I arrived home, the party was over, my daughter was in bed, and I had missed it all.

Another time the whole family wanted to have a picnic at the park. I didn't want to, but I was overruled. I went, but I was irritable all day. Then it hit me: Your family always does everything you want. The one time you do what they want, you're a bear.

Perhaps I was (a tad) selfish, I admitted. Unfortunately, the pastorate was perpetuating the problem.

I liked the feeling of being used by the Lord. I thrived on the attention and positive feedback. I couldn't understand why I enjoyed church members' needs me but resented my family's ...

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