Public vs. Private Life

Have you read Ted Haggard’s letter to his church yet? If you haven’t you can check out a copy of it here. There is a part of me that is inherently skeptical of anyone in public life and written apologies seem so staged and normally feel fake. But there are a few things in this letter that I think all pastors should check out.

Haggard lays out a picture of struggling with his private “dark” life and how that was different from his public life. He goes on to say that he stopped being honest about his struggles because of his position and because he didn’t want to hurt people who he loved. Once he stopped communicating about his struggles he was on a slippery slope.

I think there is a powerful lesson here for pastors and for everyone else. Many times we get to a position where we feel like we are no longer allowed to make mistakes so we hide what is really going on inside of us. When we do that we are setting ourselves up to fail. As a pastor it is vital to have people around you who can ask you the tough questions and in whom you can confide. It is a hard thing to find this type of accountability, but it is vital if we are to survive.

This letter has reminded me of that. I have drifted away from the guys who were holding me accountable. It is time for me to get back with them again.  

2 thoughts on “Public vs. Private Life

  1. Mark says:

    Hey Nathan,
    We don’t know each other but i found your blog off of Matt Tullos’ blog. I know i have struggles in my life and have no one to be accountable to. There are times when the public and private life don’t match. I am in a small Midwestern town about a 10th the size of where you are out in the middle of nowhere. Where do you find those connection points? Part of me really desires that kind of accountability and part of me is scared that it could be used against me. I had that experience once while i was in Florida. Your comments are very well stated and this whole Ted Haggard thing has gotten my attention. God bless! mark

  2. Mark says:

    As you can tell i don’t pay attention to what i read. Sorry for calling you Nathan, Shane. When i glanced at the side bar to type your name all i saw was Nathans pics so i typed nathan. I guess this OLD youth guy needs glasses. Again sorry for getting your name wrong.

    mark (or you can call me jeromy, he’s my son.:) )

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