Calling Killers

How I discovered three dangerous illusions about my ministry and identity.

I was an angry man. But I didn't know I was an angry man. I didn't think I was perfect, and, yes, I knew I needed others in my life, but I lived as though I didn't. When my wife, Luella, would approach me with yet another instance of this anger, I would always do the same thing: wrap a robe of righteousness around me, activate my inner lawyer, and remind her once again of what a great husband she had. I would go through my well-rehearsed and rather long list of all the things I did for her, all the ways I made her life easier. On one occasion, I got on a roll and actually said, "Ninety-five percent of the women in our church would love to be married to a man like me!" Luella quickly informed me that she was in the five percent.

I was a man headed for disaster. The gracious and patient pastor our congregation saw in public ministry was a very different guy from the irritable and impatient man at home. I was increasingly comfortable with things that should have haunted and convicted me. I ...

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