By Ron Cook

Ron and his wife Rodetta have been married for 41 years. They have actively served the Lord together in ministry during the entire time and are co-founders of Care for Pastors. Ron ministers to hundreds of pastors annually through mentorship, counseling, and by phone. He has been a Pastor for 40 years and understands the stress of ministry, and wants to share his longevity in ministry with other pastors and help them finish well.

    Our Private World

    Wednesday, December 06, 2023

    We live in two worlds.

    The public world, the world where others see us, know us, observe our actions or the lack thereof. Our work world, our home world, our church world, and any and everywhere others see us is the public world.

    Then there is our private world. The private world is unseen, unknown, hidden from others. In many cases it is a world of secrets; secrets that must be protected, lest it affects how others see us in the public world. It is often a place where lies are told so often that they become our filter of truth. It is a world where no one is familiar with all the stuff. It is a place where thoughts become dreams and dreams become passions; passions that if not taken to truth spill over into our public world with drastic consequences.

    We live in the constant threat of duplicity, the spiritual place where the human flesh is at odds with the Holy Spirit. We are so prone to speak truth to others challenging them to live in the freedom of truth, while in our private life our thoughts and actions are in direct contradiction to what we are telling others. There is a biblical term for this, it is called hypocrisy. Sometimes the private world is so hidden from the public world that it is not until moral failures are made public that the duplicity and hypocrisy surface. Or it is with the death of the person who is no longer alive to protect and deny the secrets. It is so easy for us to look at all the public accomplishments and use that as a determiner of the real person.

    “The most important thing about you is not the things you achieve, it is the person you become.” – Dallas Willard

    The battle between the private and public world is real and it is a vicious conflict. I have known numerous pastors say in so many words, “I know I’m not making a good decision. I know it is sinful. I know there will be consequences with my decision, but I don’t care. I’m leaving my wife and my children. I’m leaving the church. For the first time in my life, I have found love. I will ask for God’s forgiveness later.” Some of you reading this are thinking, “That would never happen to me.” But if the public world and the private world don’t align, then we are all one decision from “stupid” with devastating consequences. Often these “stupid” decisions are made during the holidays, when the private world finally convinces them, “You deserve to be happy, go for it.”

    This is not a typical holiday blog of cheer, but a challenge for all of us to do a check-in to make sure there are no secrets causing conflict with the public and private world.

    Is your private world at odds with your public world? Others may not know, even those closest to you, but you know, and God knows!

    Help us continue providing resources of care for pastors and their families.

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