Tuesday, August 29, 2006
The one thing that caused me the most guilt in ministry was the [e-word]. I have probably felt more shame over the [e-word] than anything in my life. And like most shameful experiences, you feel led to hide (remember Adam and Eve?) My attempt to be a good Baptist Evangelical led me to try and try and try, but I always seemed to come up short. I was never confident enough, certainly not pushy. I can't argue a point very well. Most of the time I found myself listening to a person instead of getting a Summary of the Story across. I had good conversations many times, but there was no place on the report form for those. Reports were a big deal in my circle, and it seemed the most important thing anyone ever wanted to know was how many times did I share a Summary of the Story, and how many made a positive decision based on that presentation. So you know what I did? I lied. Yes, I lied many times over. I took credit for stuff I shouldn't have. I fudged the numbers so I would look good and hopefully keep my job. All this because of the shame I felt for my ineffectiveness at the [e-word]. To this day I don't know what to do with that shame. At least I am out of a vocation that requires that kind of reporting, which led me to feel like I had to be deceptive. I envy people who are effective at the [e-word]. It's why I don't feel I could never be a missionary or even a paid pastor again. The freedom from feeling the need to lie is better than the pressure of having to perform a task I am not gifted to do.