When I first started this ministry and blogging series, my plan was to go down the list of temptations one by one and explain how to overcome each temptation.
What I’m beginning to realize is that it’s not as simple as that. If it were, I would have made more progress with my own struggles.
Here’s the mistake I’ve been making: I thought the issues that mess us up in ministry are the same issues that mess us up with our compulsive habits since so many of our blogging problems have to do with habits and emotions.
But they’re not. At least not entirely. Ministry has its own little set of lies. Here are seven of them.
7 Ministry and Blogging Lies that Mess Us Up
1. I need to be successful, and this is what success looks like: “x”.
Because we live in a top-dog-bottom-dog world, we tend to feel that we have to be top dogs to be successful. We’ll take a look at the current view of Christian success and explore whether or not we really want to make that a goal.
2. Ministry is like a business. If I just do x and y, I’ll be successful.
Ministry isn’t a business. It’s an act of love toward others. Sometimes that will look successful in the world’s eyes, and sometimes it won’t. We’ll be talking about the different ways this lie can discourage us and make us feel like failures even though we might be doing exactly what God wants us to do.
3. The most important part of ministry is feeding the poor, making disciples, and/or changing the world.
This is one of those lies that sound like truth. But it’s not. The most important part of ministry is loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:29-30). Unless our ministry springs from a deep relationship with Him, we’ll be in danger of a whole bunch of different problems which I’ll be talking about in future posts.
4. Ministry should be easy and fun – if it’s not, then maybe God doesn’t want me in this ministry.
The problem with this belief is that we so often use it to justify quitting things God doesn’t want us to quit. God might want us to let go of a ministry but not just because it’s difficult. If He felt that way about ministry, He would have let Jonah off the hook (just a little fish humor for you there).
5. I deserve a reward for working so hard.
Although there’s nothing wrong with being rewarded for ministry (1 Corinthians 9:7-14), it’s a lie to feel we have to be rewarded. The Bible is full of examples of believers who never received an earthly reward for their ministry.
6. I need to be perfect if I’m going to be in ministry.
If this were true, none of us would qualify for ministry. Not only does this lie keep us out of ministry, it encourages us to spend so much time trying to be perfect (writing perfect blog posts for example) that we don’t have time to do other things God wants us to do.
7. I shouldn’t have to change.
The Bible is full of instructions from God and others saying, Hey, you guys need to change. This is what I want you to do. The truth is that we should always be willing to change (and actually looking for ways to change) so we can love God and others well.
I’ll try to post on Mondays and Wednesdays with the occasional odd post on Fridays. We’ll still cover the temptations on the list I posted last week but they’ll be woven throughout the study. I’ll also try to post some Bible studies and journal activities as I come up with them.
Next week we’ll get started with the first lie.
5/11/15 Update: If you’d like help renewing your mind about blogging or ministry, check out The Renewing of the Mind Project. It contains the questions I wrote and Bible verses I gathered to help me renew my mind about blogging.
Journal Activity: Think of your own ministry or blog. Record each of the lies you believe and explain how each lie affects your relationship with God, your relationship with others, and/or your peace of mind. Also, what is the truth to each lie?
Question: Have you seen any of these lies at work in your own blogging career or ministry? Can you think of any lies I missed?