Truths Pastors Need to Tell Themselves

Truths Pastors Need to Tell Themselves
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I’m a messed-up human being. I don’t mean I’m particularly deranged—just that I was born broken and have reached the plateau of adulthood carrying some flaws with me. The biggest flaw? I believe lies…sometimes.

Here’s a law of life that can’t be avoided or broken: The way I think determines what I believe, which determines how I act, which creates my path and all of its rewards and consequences. Ultimately, life’s trajectory is a result of my beliefs.

When I mess up and sin, it’s always because I’ve believed a lie. I’ll give you some examples…

  • I’ll just do this once.
  • Nobody knows…or cares.
  • Everybody does this.
  • This is just who I am.
  • I’ve gone too far and there is no turning back now.
  • No one could ever really love me.

Any of those ring a bell? Whether whispers from the enemy, or sad chants we’ve accidentally learned to repeat, they are destructive. So today, tomorrow and every day thereafter, I need to start my day by ingesting truth. I believe the only source of absolute truth is in the Bible, the Word of God. So I use YouVersion’s reading plans to help me take it in each day. But that’s not all I need. I don’t mean God’s word is insufficient. I simply mean I need to personalize what I’ve read so I can do and live the essence and meaning of it.

As for my particular struggles, there are some truths I remind myself of daily these days. The things you need to hear repeatedly in your walk will probably vary from mine, but these are truths I cling to:

The Truth About Me and God

  1. I am not God. I am powerless, helpless, lost and broken without Him.
  2. God loves me and showed how much He loves and values me by sending Jesus to the cross for me.
  3. I cannot stop God from loving and valuing me because it’s about His character, not my behavior.
  4. In Christ, I have the limitless power that raised Jesus from the dead working in me, so victory is always achievable.
  5. The Holy Spirit wants to do His work in me at all times. I simply must yield at all times.

The Truth About Me and Myself

  1. I cannot control my circumstances, but I am absolutely in control of my responses. Blame nothing.
  2. I am responsible for all of my actions, attitudes and behaviors. Blame no one.
  3. I am capable of accomplishing anything to which God has called me.
  4. My default is to be defensive and make excuses, which flow from pride and insecurity.
  5. I can always, always choose better.

The Truth About Me and My Family

  1. My wife is a beautiful gift from God and deserves my attention, my affection, my protection and my devotion.
  2. My wife is for me, shows me grace and respect when I don’t deserve it and loves me faithfully.
  3. My kids need a dad who is stable, strong, safe and loving.
  4. My kids need a dad who loves their mom and proves it.
  5. I am the dad, the priest and the pastor who will be held responsible for my family’s spiritual welfare.

The Truth About Me and My Church

  1. Jesus died for His church. It is His alone, and He values it immeasurably.
  2. God has called me to be an undershepherd of His flock, leading and feeding them on His behalf.
  3. I am not responsible for the choices others make, but I am responsible for equipping people under my care for spiritual maturity.
  4. I am the leader, whether I feel adequate or not, so I need to make the tough decisions and be in front.
  5. I am here to grow spiritually healthy people. People don’t exist to make me successful. I exist to help them be like Jesus.

The Truth About Me and My Culture

  1. The world will squeeze me into its mold unless I fully surrender to God and choose His path.
  2. Cursing the darkness is exhausting, pointless and ultimately counterproductive to God’s goal for the world.
  3. I need to be light, salt and a voice of truth within the territory of the deceiver.
  4. Everyone needs Jesus. Everyone belongs in God’s family.
  5. Isolation from culture helps no one. Imitation of culture helps no one. Infiltrating culture is my calling.

I don’t always remember all of these truths. When I forget them, things go badly. When I am reminded of them, I can stand strong and walk confidently. Truth leaks, leaving room for the lies of the enemy. Hearing truth and applying it repetitiously is the only way to win. 

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Brandon Cox
Brandon Cox is Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church, a new church plant in northwest Arkansas. He also serves as Editor and Community Facilitator for and Rick Warren's Pastor's Toolbox and was formerly a Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In his spare time, he offers consultation to church leaders about communication, branding, and social media. He and his wife, Angie, live with their two awesome kids in Bentonville, Arkansas.

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