By Dr. Donald Lynn Hardaway
Enter into a daily time of quiet solitude with the Lord. Hear what He has to say to your heart and mind and soul. We can think ourselves into depression by listening only to our own thoughts and believing that our perspective is true. Through the Scriptures and the quiet voice of His Spirit, God will share His perspective and His thoughts with you; His Word is always true.
“My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.” (Psalm 119:25, NKJV)
As awkward as it may be, reach out to a fellow pastor and go to breakfast or lunch and unburden your soul to him. If you are afraid of confidentiality issues, or have no specific pastor friend you know well enough to trust, reach out to me; I love and care for pastors and our discussion will be completely confidential. The greater the pressure you are facing, the more you need to release some of that pressure by confiding in a friend. Please, pastor, do not lose your ministry because you were too proud or too afraid or too ashamed to reach out for friendship. Whether you are a Network pastor or not, I will listen to you.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10, NLT)
Develop peer friendships with a group of pastors with whom you can laugh and cry. We have “roundtables” of pastors who meet monthly for just this purpose, and you are welcome to join us; you just need to ask!
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” (Proverbs 17:22, NLT)