I repent. Again.

I repent. Again.

I love teaching and preaching. I felt a call to do this in the 7th grade and have pursued the development of this gift/call ever since. To say I enjoy it would be an understatement. Study and preparation energize me. Delivering a message thrills me. Seeing people have “aha!” moments, hearing the stories of growth and changed lives, all of this feels like doing exactly what I was put here to do.

But gifting and maturity are two different categories of development. Because of this, it is quite possible to function in a legitimate anointing from an unhealthy place. Insecurity is a toxic motivator. In all my enjoyment of what I have the privilege of doing, I must admit, there are times that in my immaturity I am motivated by my insecurity.

Sometimes I enjoy the microphone too much. I like the attention. I like getting the laugh. I love the reactivity of the live audience. I love the mic-drop moment. That’s not intrinsically wrong, but when insecurity is fueling the process, it can get wrong pretty quick.

Last week I was launching a new series about the parables of Jesus at our church. As I attempted to talk about how parables worked to subvert worldviews, I grabbed for an example from my own journey, where my own worldview had changed significantly over the years. I wanted to show how not everyone is open to having their worldview challenged or shifted. Sometimes our hearts are like the hard path where the seeds fall but don’t penetrate the soil, allowing the enemy to come snatch the seeds away.

That’s all fine and good.

But in my communication, I allowed my own insecurities to best me (not for the first time either!). I wanted a laugh, so I went for the easy laugh, the low-hanging fruit of condescension. I presented the opposing view as if it was ridiculous. I presented the opposing view as if it was dumb. I presented the opposing view as if, compared to my “enlightened thinking,” it would be crazy to have a different opinion than me.

I got lots of laughs.

Several of my leaders approached me this week and confronted me about how that came across. At first, I couldn’t see it. After all, I was just trying to make a point, a point that I’m right about! That wasn’t really the issue anyway, I was just trying to illustrate how parables work!

No. I was going in for an easy laugh to feed my insecurity as a leader.

I’ve done it before and repented before.

I repent again.

8 Replies to “I repent. Again.”

  1. Can I say, Alan, that I experientially understand what you’re talking about. I long for the day when my insecurities are less Common Place then the proper who I take security in. Count out Joy, friend, that you are closer now than you have been previously.

  2. I love the reflection and contemplation you must have entered to articulate such a self aware response. Again I am challenged to be more because I know you.

  3. Wow, that is so real and honest. I am glad to be apart of CTF. When truth supercedes opinion, God is sure to move. Blessings Alan!

  4. So much I love about this! Your approachability that allows others to come to you to share their observations. Amazing! Your consideration of what they shared (even though you didn’t see it at first) shows a humble, teachable spirit. Admirable! And your willingness to admit your own struggle makes that standard acceptable for everyone you lead. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Love and admire you so much!

  5. We were visiting last week to hear the start of this series. I thought it was refreshing to hear someone say what we believe – that parables were meant to obscure the mysteries, not illustrate a teaching. I see what you are saying about going for the easy laugh, but I love that you were dealing with changing paradigms. It’s important. We enjoyed our time with CTFDFW. Thanks!

  6. Pastor Alan, the Lord has recently been speaking to me about the importance of, and power in humility.
    Your vulnerability is appreciated. Your apology is refreshing. Your humility is an example for all of us to follow.

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