I have to be honest. Sometimes I feel pressure to not be myself.
I feel like in order to be viewed as having a pastoral gift and calling, I need to be much more serious…to constantly be talking about the spiritual – and as a result – to unintentionally neglect the emotional needs of those around me.
It often feels like there is this unsaid rule that pastors need to be pretty serious in order to gain respect.
But that’s not who I am. At least not all the time.
Now of course I’m not saying there isn’t a time and a place to be serious. As pastors we have the opportunity to walk alongside people in their darkest moments. To be at hospital bedsides, funerals, and grave sites. Of course, there are times of worship, teaching, preaching, and prayer. There are so many times to be sincere, deliberate, and thoughtful for a pastor.
But sometimes I think it would be more sincere to simply help someone crack a smile.
For me, one of my greatest fears is that I will become like what everyone expects me to be, rather than who I am made to be…to fall into an expectation of a position rather than pursuing my calling from God.
I feel like I have the gift of making people laugh. It may not seem very spiritual, but in a world that is filled with pain, a respite from the darkness by helping give a huge grin can make all the difference in that moment.
Billy Graham said, “A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable.”
Maybe we as pastors just need to laugh a little bit more.