In the second day at the Acts 29: Healthy Leaders Conference, Scotty Ward Smith, preached during the morning session and said so many profound things that I couldn't keep up and write them all down! But, one thing he did say that I was able to write down and that was quite impactful was this...
"As long as your cry for relief is greater than your cry for growth, you are never going to change."
This is particularly convicting for me because though I am someone who has been very committed to growth, in recent months, my cry for relief has been "louder." I just want the hurt that can be experienced in leadership to cease to exist! I just want relief from my distress, and comfort for my pain! Right now, I'd rather be given a way out than a way through!
But, though this is how I may be feeling, I know it is not the prayer I should be praying.
The truth is, what I really want is to be healthy more than I desire to be free from hurt. What I really yearn for is maturity more than I yearn for a life free from mess. What I really long for is change more than I long for a life free from conflict.
I would rather be growing and hurting than dying and painless.
So in response to this very insightful statement by Scotty Ward Smith, my admonition to both you and I is this: However uncomfortable it may be, we must accept the pain, confront the hurt, own the sin, and face the discomfort. Our desire to be pain free must no longer stand in the way of our desire to be set free!
There was a day when we prayed for growth and change. Remember? If so, we must stop praying for God to remove the very instruments that He intends to use to bring about the growth and change we asked for!
It's like knowing we need a heart transplant but asking the doctor not to use a scalpel - foolish.