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Pastoral Anger: Murder in the Cathedral

It is not the ministry that makes me angry. It's me that makes me angry.
— John Ortberg

Henri Nouwen has put his finger on something that for a long time I did not realize about myself:

"Anger in particular seems close to a professional vice in the contemporary ministry. Pastors are angry at their leaders for not leading and at their followers for not following. They are angry at those who do not come to church, and angry at those who do come for coming without enthusiasm.

"They are angry at their families, who make them feel guilty, and angry at themselves for not being who they want to be. This is not an open, blatant, roaring anger, but an anger hidden behind the smooth word, the smiling face, and the polite handshake. It is a frozen anger, an anger which settles into a biting resentment and slowly paralyzes a generous heart.

"If there is anything that makes the ministry look grim and dull, it is this dark, insidious anger in the servants of Christ."

I have anger in me. This realization ...

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October

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