Journal Entry Date: June 25, 1996
“I have been convicted. We were interviewing new deacon candidates tonight. All the questions and all the responses kept hammering me with my own failures. I have become very complacent and God really seemed to lash me for it tonight. I really feel like spending some time with another deacon, but it’s pretty late in the evening.
Instead, I just reflected on what God revealed to me, but I think that really irritated my wife since I was being rather withdrawn and sulky. When I started sharing about the meeting, I could tell we weren’t in the same mode of conversation and conflict would result.
Throughout the interviews all I could think was a phrase from Zechariah… “Oh my worthless shepherd.“ With God’s power and guidance, I’ve confessed my sins and resolved to begin my ministry anew. Now that I’ve seen complacency, Satan will have to try some other tactic to keep me from fulfilling my ordained responsibilities.
I take comfort in what God put me through tonight. The following verse, Hebrews 12:6, is pretty well known… “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” But I especially take heart from the verses that follow starting in v11…
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.Hebrews 12:11-13
Author’s Note: First, a little marriage tip… having serious discussions late at night when you and your spouse are already tired and emotionally drained is typically not a good idea as it increases the likelihood of conflict. Agreeing to postpone that kind of discussion until the next day after you’re both rested can make a big difference, assuming it’s a topic that can reasonably be deferred.
As I get the chance to post more journal entries from later years, you may notice that complacency will continue to be something with which I struggle throughout my Christian walk. I continue to guard against it, and continue to confront it. Jesus never told His disciples that following Him would be easy… In fact, He would often tell them the opposite… But He also promises to be our strength when we are weak. Praise You, Lord Jesus!