Sometimes I think 5-year-old me had more faith in Jesus than grown-up me does sometimes. Childlike faith is no joke and I can say that as a little girl I had that kind of faith. I believed that God could do anything. Not only was my faith strong as a child, but my convictions were strong as a child. I had a healthy fear of the Lord, but at times it was a little extreme. I remember thinking if I was listing to a non-Christian song and the rapture happened I wouldn’t make it to heaven. I eventually learned that wasn’t the case and learned what it was to live in grace and not legalism. Nonetheless, I had very strong convictions early on in my walk with God. I remember taking pride in the fact that I could say I had never done this or had never done that. I had never experienced this or fallen into that temptation. I said it with such pride, but as we all know, “pride comes before the fall”. I went from saying I had never done it, to doing it, and then still saying I had never done any of it. The strong convictions I once had were no longer strong, but instead they were getting weaker as the time went by.
You often hear testimonies of people who made some big mistakes before they came to Christ. They can share their testimony openly because they made all those mistakes before they came to Christ. But what about us? The people who made some of our biggest mistakes after we already accepted Christ when we were already supposed to know better. Or what about when we were already in a leadership position or held a title in front of our name? Would we be able to ask for the same help as someone who didn’t know Christ? Would we be given the same grace and forgiveness as they were? I would like to say that the answer to that last question would be a strong “yes”, but that is not the case in every situation. Sometimes knowing better doesn’t stop you from doing the wrong thing. Sometimes being a pastor doesn’t stop you from giving into temptation. More is required of us and when we don’t live up to the title, it is not easy to admit that or ask for help with that. Even more so, we can be in a place where we don’t want the help.
It is hard and humbling to say something like:
“I have messed up.”
“I chose my flesh over my calling.”
“I choose a wrong relationship and put my relationship with God on the line.”
So many pastors struggle with so many different things.
I can’t speak for all pastors because I know there are probably a lot of men and women out there who are pastors and have it all together. I humbly say that I don’t always have it all together. I didn’t make my big mistakes before I accepted Christ, I made them when I knew better and when I was preaching to others to not make mistakes that I myself was making. I look back and I think about all the times I could have lost it all. Not to say I didn’t lose anything because I did. I lost part of my identity, a portion of my testimony, some of my dignity, some of my innocence, and I lost respect from some people that meant the world to me. I experienced great loss, but I could have lost a lot more. And for what? To satisfy fleshly desires? To appease my frustrations of waiting on God to move and make my own moves?
Every day I wake up and I am blessed to do what I love. I love being a pastor and more importantly, I love being a pastor to the students God has entrusted to me. Did you hear that last part? He entrusted them to me. I don’t ever again want to break that trust or take it for granted. Sometimes as minsters we do take our ministry for granted. I think it is safe to say that I am not the only Pastor who has taken what God has entrusted to them for granted. Pastors and leaders alike, we are under grace and we receive forgiveness, but let’s take that grace and forgiveness and honor it with right choices moving forward.
Grace is greater than your title.
Grace is greater than your season of brokenness.
Grace is greater than your biggest mistake.
Grace is greater than your “damaged” testimony.
Grace is greater than your pain.
Grace is greater than your stubbornness.
Grace is greater than your pride.
The list goes on because Grace in the Father will always triumph.
I know what it is to have high expectations over your life, and I know the feeling of failing those expectations. I know the fear of being transparent about them. It is saddening that a Pastor or leader can’t admit fault out of fear of losing everything. I pray that Grace Greater Then Titles can be a safe place for you to ask for help, to ask for prayer, and seek grace that is greater than your title. You are not alone and this isn’t the end of your story. God can move you from feeling like you are out for the count- to a person with arms held high in victory. He did it for me and he can do it for you. Let’s fight this good fight together! Let’s be a network that encourages one another, provides a safe place for one other, and who gives grace to each other while interceding for one another. You are not too far gone! I love that the 5-year-old Krystal had such strong faith and convictions, but the grown up Krystal is going to surpass that faith and conviction! You haven’t seen anything yet! Grace is greater than my title!