Which Shepherd is Mine?

i’m currently struggling through the church-search

some people expect and need weekly preaching about what is a sin and what isn’t

i’m not one of those people

because with the way i struggle

how God formed me

my experiences…

i don’t need a list of things to do and things not to do

because what i am is a rule-follower

with no heart

my time is better spent listening to somoene tell me how great my God is for rescuing a worthless vapor like me

because i know what to do and what not to do

what i don’t know is how a man can know his own depravity

what i don’t know is how to forget the “do this, don’t do this”

what i don’t know is how much i need Jesus

so when it comes to picking the pastor i’m going to entrust myself to, i don’t know if i can choose the one that makes the most sense

the pastor who is polished and prepared

because he isn’t the one who’s going to convict me each and every week

he’s the one with a great sense of showmanship and morality

the one who primarily spends time studiously reading beneath a desk lamp

the one who hides his heart, but displays that time last week when he had the right answer for the right moment

the one who only talks about his faults in past tense

because that’s who i already am

and i think we ought to entrust ourselves to men we want to be like… not men we already are like

so for my friends who struggle with making the right choice in the right moment, the church that makes sense, well… makes sense

but for me, i’m contemplating entrusting my legalism to the pastor who stands humbly before me and rebukes himself

the one whose time is spent in his closet

on his knees

in tears

the one who models the things i. am. not.

who models love.




not the one who above all other fruit of the Spirit knows self-control

because although self-control is a beautiful, worshipful fruit…

it’s the one i’ve gouged myself on

the one that’s fed my pride into obeisity


5 thoughts on “Which Shepherd is Mine?

  1. Wow! I just ran across your blog b/c I was trying to find others similar to my own subject matter. You are definitely an amazing writer! When I finished reading this post, all I could say is “wow!”. I totally “get you” in that choosing a pastor is something that requires a lot of thought. Someone with the characteristics of which you speak, basically models Christ, not our pre-conceived ideas of what we think a pastor should be like. Good stuff!

  2. I’m going to be honest with you. The first time I read this, I was going to ask you about what you think church should be. But I guessed that you probably already know that. I was also going to ask about your “legalism”. But I know it too well.

    Then I read it again. And I realized you said something that disturbed me. (Not like a “I hate you” kind of way, more like the “I hope she knows what she said” kind of way).

    The sentence is this “my time is better spent listening to somoene tell me how great my God is for rescuing a worthless vapor like me”

    You called yourself worthless. Without value.

    Do you really believe this? Maybe you used this word lightly or you struggled with depression. Maybe you genuinely believe that you are nothing. Maybe you’re a writer, and you were just trying to find the right word. But let me tell you why you’re not worthless.

    Because if you are worthless, then I’m worthless. If we are worthless, then humans are worthless. If humans are worthless, then Jesus died for nothing.

    If somebody told you that you are worthless, then forget them. They don’t know what they said. If you attended a church that took the attitude that “we are all worthless, and only Christ gives us value”, then don’t go back.

    God values us more than we value ourselves. His value is the only one that counts. He wanted us. He wanted you. Not because we needed value, but because we had/have value.

    We might be hurt or wrong or mistaken or mislead or corrupted or even broken, but we are never worthless.

    You also said you are “a rule follower with no heart”. You’re saying some very heavy things today. I don’t even know you in person. We’re like, pixel buddies. But I don’t believe this is true.

    Am I really wrong?

    Did I make a mistake by looking into these words too much? Now I feel like I could have royally peeved you…but I meant no harm. It’s just that you’ve said a lot in your post. It had me concerned.

  3. D.A., You definitely didn’t peeve me 🙂

    Hmmmm… I don’t know what to write back to that, though.


    I do use harsh words about myself. Sometimes, I do it because I need humbling, and verbally beating my pride into submission is the way that seems to work best. Sometimes, I do it to keep other people from doing it first. I wasn’t using the word worthless lightly. I don’t struggle with depression. I simultaneously believe that people have a crazy-huge value and none at all. I think it’s one of those paradoxes that actually is quite beautiful. I don’t know if that’s the right thing to believe.

    “…a rule follower with no heart” is something I definitely say without thinking about it. I know I have a heart. In fact, I sometimes think the reason I so frequently belittle my heart is because I have a heart for heart and always want more of it.

    You’re definitely right to bring my attention to this, and I’m going to think and pray about it for sure. I’ve got some major dysfunctions that I think you’re seeing in a way most of my friends don’t. Maybe they’re too close, and a pixel buddy is just the person to sharpen things like this.

    Sorry I don’t have a good answer. Mostly, I don’t know why I so flippantly write and say negative things about myself… things I’d never say about another person.

    Thank you.

  4. A friend once told me that humility is more than recognizing the futility of our own pride in light of His greatness. He said that approaching God with humility means to “see what He sees,” leading to the crazy paradox that you find so beautiful. Humility (from the Greek word for “ground”) is lying face down before Him in acknowledgement of our depravity, only to be passively lifted because He finds value in us. I’m pretty comfortable with that concept. I’ll keep finding the ground, and I’ll allow Him to do the lifting.

    I’m pleased to have found your blog. God bless and enjoy the growth.

  5. Pingback: Owning Bloodguiltiness « Still Growing

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