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Preacher, Heal Thyself!

Insomnia, pornography, and learning to live the gospel I preach.

It's 3 a.m. and I'm wide awake. I'm thinking about what I'm always thinking about: ministry; people; and, as always, my sermon—what I wish I'd said and how I wish I'd said it.

How many times have I woken from fitful sleep and wasted the night in fretful worry? Worry about where we are as a church, how I'm doing in ministry, what people are thinking of me.

A confession: Since becoming a pastor, I find that I struggle with very different things now than I did before. For instance, I don't look at porn. But I don't look at it for all the wrong reasons.

The truth is, every time I'm tempted to, I begin to think about how much it would cost me if I were to get caught. First, the damage it would do in my marriage is huge in my mind. Second, even though I know my elders and I could probably work through something like that, I'm still conditioned to respond how I was taught in the churches of my youth, where pastors were assumed to be "above reproach" (read: "inhumanly perfect"). When issues ...

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