Your Worst Critic

I was going to continue our series some tonight, but something I saw made me think otherwise. There are times a person is moved to write something because they know it will benefit another specifically. I’ll also admit right off that some of this is my own concern for my own self as well in that it is a boat I am usually in and so I can imagine what it’s like for others. Telling my story could benefit me, but I think it could also benefit others.

I’m a perfectionist.

I also think that if you’re a perfectionist, you never really get over being a perfectionist.

I also think everyone in ministry has some degree of perfectionism in them. I’m no exception.

I’ve told my story before as well. This is for those who need a refresher:

I’ll also add that since then, I have got a position in ministry, but I choose to not say where as that would disclose my location. 

Growing up like that, I often saw myself as weak and incapable. It’s probably one reason I never really applied myself to much. I look at where I am now in philosophy and often think “Why weren’t you thinking like that back then?”

And part of me sometimes thinks, “Why aren’t you thinking good today?”

One of my worst fears is that one day I will be seen as some charade. What if I am merely playing the part of the apologist and in the end it isn’t so? What if I don’t possess skill?

In my brighter moments, I know that this isn’t so, but sometimes the bullet from Jezebel can come and it can knock a guy out for a bit. Circumstances come in and your emotions get blown for a loop and they take your rationality with them.

But then some other things happen that pick you up. I just had a friend email me and said he wanted to send me a book. I have no idea what, but this is a highly respectable friend in the apologetics world. Some of you might know him and I think, “Wow. You were thinking about me?” 

Someone will compliment you or maybe it’ll be something else. You’ll have something really good happen at the job. If you’re a guy like me, you might develop an interest in a beautiful lady and suddenly life seems different. The last time the realization came to me, I was actually in the locker room at the Y after my weekly dip in the pool.

Now here’s something I realize. While I would say I am constantly learning, it’s not learning some new apologetics argument that brings me out. It’s simply recognizing something. My friends and family are likely telling me the truth. Some of my opponents might not recognize that, but so what?

Am I going to tell all my friends and family they’re liars?

Am I also not going to recognize who I am in Christ?

Christ didn’t make me to be William Lane Craig or Norman Geisler or Gary Habermas or Ravi Zacharias or Greg Koukl or anyone else you can think of in the field.

He made me to be me. 

Maybe I don’t think like others. Okay. That means something else as well.

They don’t think like me.

Maybe they’ll see things I won’t. 

But maybe I’ll see things they won’t.

I also have to realize I’ll make mistakes.

Who doesn’t?

I won’t always know the perfect thing to say and maybe there isn’t a perfect thing to say sometimes.

I won’t always give a stellar performance.

That’s okay.

I’m still a work in progress.

I now think to my friend who is battling with this also.

Take heart.

You’re not alone.

I’m being quite transparent here, but I’m betting if you spoke to your heroes in the faith, they’d tell you the same thing.

And you know what? I’m going to show a side that could be self-serving some, but there are going to be times that I’ll be down also.

I’ll need you to smack me upside the head then and remind me of the truth.

Just as I hope I’ve done for you.

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