Confessions Of A Coward

Have you ever sensed you were supposed to do something? Perhaps it was a hard conversation that needed to be had, an apology that needed to be made, an act of kindness that was yours to make, or something you just knew you needed to stop or start. Have you ever had that nagging sense that you were supposed to do something but when the time came to act you instead tucked tail and ran the other way?

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Just over a year ago I had this overwhelming sense that I needed to begin writing. I’ve always loved to write and knew one day I’d put more of my work out there. I just always assumed it would be something I’d do later in life, like when my age sounded more like a highway and less like a school zone. A year ago, however, I had this overwhelming sense that God was saying, “It is time.”

So I set some small goals for myself, started a blog and began to write. I was not prepared for the response.

My first piece on “Homosexuality And The Church” was widely shared and generated a lot of great conversation on social media. While I knew it was a hot topic, I greatly underestimated how many people would personally message me. I received scores of messages from people who wanted to share their stories, learn more, talk it out, dream together, confess sin, some who wanted to say thank you, and some who had other colorful words for me that I won’t share here. As a pastor I couldn’t help but want to respond to all of them. I tried, but it was too much.

The real kicker came when my piece “5 Really Bad Reasons To Leave Your Church” was picked up by Relevant Magazine and a number of other online publications. The nearly 140,000 shares on Relevant all linked directly to our church’s website where my email was prominently featured. The resulting flood of emails, Tweets, Fb messages and blog comments was more than I could handle. After weeks of trying to manage it myself I gave up. Overwhelmed, I stepped away from writing altogether.

I instead turned my attention to the immediate needs of our church. (After all, there’s never a shortage of those.) I lost myself in my work. I told myself there just wasn’t time in this season of life for writing. Of course, that wasn’t true. We make time for the things that matter most to us. I just wasn’t willing to make the time. And I’ve been putting off obedience ever since.

And so this is my confession. I’ve been playing the coward. I’ve been disobedient. It turns out this pastor still needs a whole lot of grace (as if that was ever in question.) Today I humbly praise the God whose grace always outpaces our disobedience. Today I’m stepping back into what I know I ought to be doing. Wherever you might find yourself today, I pray God will give you the courage to do the same.

So what about you? What is that thing you’ve been putting off that you know you need to start or stop doing today?

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