Something occured to me the other day that I have never thought of before.
We think of those that go into ministry or some other type of service to humanity as selfless individuals. They are seen this way because of the great sacrifices they seem to make while serving others. These people are regarded highly because they seemingly forsake their own needs to meet the needs of others. One of the things we applaud these people for is their willingness to forgo the financial stability that might come from a “secular” job. We admire, respect and, in many cases, support them because they are willing to serve selflessly.
But is that actually the case?
Is it possible that what passes for selflessness and sacrifice is actually selfishness and indulgence? Think about it with me for a second.
As a former pastor, I have recently given thought to the idea that it was very selfish of me to pursue my passion of ministry even though it meant many personal sacrifices for my family. I indulged my dream and “call” while my family often struggled financially. I selfishly spent many precious hours building my ministry while my family observed from a distance, waiting for me to get home. We uprooted and moved away from stability to instability while I chased my dream. And each and every Sunday, while I was serving others, my family came to church without me, sat without me and most days went home without me… all for the sake of the ministry.
And at every place I served I was applauded and thanked for the sacrifices I made.
Sacrifice? SACRIFICE? It wasn’t a sacrifice. It was me feeding my ego… subconsciously mistaking my “need to be needed” as a call from God.
Of course, I know that no one else can relate to this. As a matter of fact, I am probably just talking to myself here. Yeah, I am certain of it. I am completely alone on this one.
Yeah… it’s probably just me.