A Methodist pastor writes that he was just diagnosed with ulcers due to stresses created by misguided Christians. He asks if I believe it possible to engage in ministry and remain physically and spiritually whole. He has two dozen clergy friends who died from heart failure or had bypass surgery before age 50, and a dozen more who left the ministry due to vicious attacks from other Christians. He asks for my thoughts.
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It is sad to hear stories such as you relate, with which I promise I can identify by personal experience in years past. Jesus taught us that those who live godly will suffer persecution, but you are right in saying that we expect that to come from the world and not from the church. Unfortunately, sometimes the “world” is in the “church.” Peter gives great words of encouragement under these circumstances — his First Epistle being based so much on Psalm 34 which is also encouraging to the man of faith in the midst of people who do not necessarily honor faith or reward the faithful. I invite you to read First Peter and ask God to speak to your heart through its ancient words, enlivened by the Holy Spirit. I hope you might also find encouragement in gracEmail and my free website.
You ask if it is possible to remain healthy and serve in career ministry. It is possible, if God calls you to that. In my case, he called me eventually to earn a living as an attorney but then he opened doors of ministry far wider than I ever experienced while a pulpit minister in a church. As you seek his guidance, God will do what is right and best for you.
The Father knows your heart intimately, is aware of the spiritual gifts he has entrusted to you, remembers your faithful service in the past and rejoices in his plans for your future. I encourage you to commit yourself to the faithful Creator and keep doing what is right (to somewhat paraphrase our ancient brother Peter).