This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.
Now, none of these reasons are enough to always say no to return to pulpits after sexual infidelity. While a return may not be probable, it can be possible. Every situation is unique. That said, unless the disgraced pastor has evidenced many of the signs of repentance (taking full ownership, accepting consequences, giving up control over recovery process/submitting to the work of therapy, seeking accountability, pursuing utter transparency, and not placing demands to return to the position) for a long season, it is doubtful that a return to leadership is right. Frankly, one of the best signs of repentance is not being so worried about reputation and not seeking a return to a previous level of ministry.
- For a book that addresses ministry-based infidelity and restoration in a holistic, redemptive context see the “What I’m Reading” section below.
4 Questions for Abusive Husbands by Leslie Vernick
When working with husbands who have been abusive, you will find that most all of them have a stubborn blindness to what they are doing that is destructive to their wife. Their habit patterns are to blame and to accuse rather than take the time to reflect upon their own attitudes and behaviors. When they are asked the question, “Why did you behave that way?” their answer is always externally referenced rather than internally referenced.
- For further study consider this post “Manipulative Repentance: 8 Red Flag Phrases”
I am a psychiatrist who treats mental health issues during pregnancy and the postpartum period. I had thought that this would somehow make me immune to postpartum depression, as though I could have seen it coming from a mile away and warded it off. But I was wrong. Quite frankly, I never thought it would happen to me.
- Consider this seminar that addresses depression from a suffering perspective.
Six Questions to Diagnose Subtle Gossip by Paula Marsteller
It’s easy to think our intentions are good. I thought that originally, too. But maybe we should distrust our intentions a bit more than we do. Even if our base intentions are good, we should always be on guard of having mixed motives. Love can often attach itself with the sinful desire to know other people’s stuff, to be “in the know,” or to feel puffed up that our lives aren’t so messy.
- Here is a collection of my favorite posts related to character.
18 Behaviors of Emotionally Intelligent People by Travis Bradberry
Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results. Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it difficult to measure and to know what to do to improve it if you’re lacking. You can always take a scientifically validated test, such as the one that comes with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book, but unfortunately, most such tests aren’t free. So, I’ve analyzed the data from the million-plus people TalentSmart has tested in order to identify the behaviors that are the hallmarks of a high EQ. What follows are sure signs that you have a high EQ.
- For further study consider this post on “Neuro-Psychology and Emotional Intelligence.”
What I’m Reading
Tweets of the Week
Please don't dismiss someone else's story because it's not your own. Listen. Ask God for understanding rather than being critical.
— Trillia Newbell (@trillianewbell) March 29, 2017
The self-concerned pastor sees other churches in his area as competition, not as strategic partners in God’s mission. – Jared Wilson
— hbcharlesjr (@hbcharlesjr) March 30, 2017
"It is dangerous if our identity as a leader becomes more important than our identity as a child of God." – Patrick Lencioni
— LifeWay Leadership (@LifeWayLead) April 1, 2017
On the Lighter Side
Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.