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 Are You Addicted to Your Pastor?

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Female Number of posts : 147
Location : Ohio
Registration date : 2008-01-27

Character Profile
Name: Sis. Du Wright
Church Attendance: Never Misses a Church Service
Outside Occupation: Researcher

PostSubject: Are You Addicted to Your Pastor?   Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:36 am

Are you addicted to your Pastor?

By Elder Dane T. Cunningham

Are you a chocolate lover who just canít eat one piece? Perhaps you can eat a pint of your favorite ice cream and still want more. You are addicted if you compulsively engage in any habit or activity that is spiritually, emotionally or physically is unhealthy. Eating excessive amounts of chocolate not only can have an adverse effect on your skin but it can cause your blood sugar to increase resulting in a myriad of health issues. The ice cream lover has to face the fact that although it tastes good that fat contained in ice cream has the potential to cause heart problems. Generally when we think of addiction we think of alcohol or drugs but we can possibly be addicted to any person place or thing that we put ahead of God.

Can a Christian be addicted to their Pastor? Substance addiction and religious addiction are fundamentally the same; they are both characterized by an altered mood, the compulsive desire for more and the feeling of withdrawal in the absence of the person place or thing that is addicted to. Many Christians experience mood changes when they hear their Pastor preach; to the degree that they feel as if they are ďhighĒ as long as they are in his or her presence. Some have a need for more of what their Pastor has to say so when Sunday comes they say ďthank God itís Sunday!Ē Unfortunately they donít realize that God can speak through any one on any day of the week. Then there are those church members who go through withdrawal in the absence of their Pastor. They feel a sense of loss if their Pastor is on vacation or invites someone else to preach. It is not uncommon for some church members to get irritated and cranky in the stage of withdrawal resulting in their walking out of service. Is it wrong for you to love the grace that God has given your Pastor?

The answer to that question is obvious. Pastors often serve as spiritual fathers and mothers responsible for the growth of those who are submitted to them. If your life has been positively changed by your Pastor it is likely that you will have an affinity for them that is like a childís affinity for their parent. But just like a natural child has to become independent to mature into a healthy adult so does a spiritual child. As much as a Christian may love their Pastor they have to grow to the point where they can feed themselves spiritually. What would happen if in the natural you only ate once a week? There are many Christians who only eat spiritually once a week because they are addicted to their Pastor.

The church member who neglects other important areas of life such as family or household responsibilities along with work may be suffering from religious addiction. The father who neglects his children so he can serve the Pastor and the wife who ignores her husbandís needs so she can be in church has their priorities confused. It is possible that this religious confusion is a result of not understanding the difference between being faithful and loyal. When you are faithful to your Pastor your focus and motivation for serving is vertical and God centered therefore when they donít visit you in the hospital you may be disappointed but not offended. However when you are loyal your focus and motivation is horizontal toward your Pastor therefore if he or she fails to return your telephone call it becomes a major issue because the focus was wrong in the first place.

So what do you do if you suffer from a religious addiction? You have to start by understanding that addiction is a form of idolatry because you are in essence putting a person place or thing ahead of God. If you are suffering from religious addiction you need to refocus your passion on God through your personal prayer and study time. It would be in order for you to ask God if a season of one on one time is in order. Perhaps God will grace you with a prayer partner who you can be accountable to, this should be an objective person with whom you can walk with until you can find the proper balance between your relationship with God and your Pastor. If your religious addiction has caused you to neglect your other responsibilities you need to ask God to show you how to make peace with those who have suffered. Finally we need to understand that God gives us Pastors to draw us closer to Him not further from Him.

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