Jump directly to the Content

Pastor, Know Thyself

Uproot your besetting sins with introspection and action.

Not long ago, I took an eight-month leave of absence from my pastoral duties. No preaching. No book-writing. No blogging. No tweeting. No church responsibilities. I called it a soul check. With the help of my wife, Noël, and a counselor, I did more soul-searching than I can remember ever doing before. I wanted to know my most intransigent sins. And I wanted to make war on them in fresh ways.

So let me give you a summary diagnosis of some of John Piper's most besetting sins. I have fought them for decades. I think my wife would say I am winning a few battles since the leave of absence. How those battles are being fought is what this article is about.

But first, the diagnosis. Everyone should do this for his own soul. Pastors, you will know your people's souls best by knowing your own. So try to be ruthlessly honest with yourself. The key here is not professionalism. The best soul-searcher and the best counselor may have no letters after their names. The key is brutal, broken vulnerability ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Spiritual Friends
Spiritual Friends
Here's the gift you should really be seeking.
From the Magazine
Empty Streets to the Empty Grave
Empty Streets to the Empty Grave
While reporting in Israel, photographer Michael Winters captures an unusually vacant experience at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.