Monday Morning Confessional

I confess that I am struggling to keep a healthy balance right now. I think the two things that keep me most off balance are time spent at work and time spent reading up on politics, polling, and pundits so that I have something intelligent to say on this blog.

I confess that one important metric I use when evaluating my own writing about politics is whether or not I’m being criticized by both liberals and conservatives. This week I’ve been the beneficiary of scathing emails, comments, and postings from strident politicos on both sides of the isle. I was told by a Republican that I shouldn’t be allowed to write about politics, and told by a democrat that I don’t know my own mind – those are just the highlights. I confess that I feel okay about the fact that I’m offending both the left and the right, but I wish people didn’t take themselves quite so seriously.

I confess that I heard somebody called me a “grumpy theologian” the other day. I wasn’t offended or anything, but I realized that I don’t feel grumpy, but then I don’t really feel like much of a theologian either. I think maybe I’m more of a typical exhausted pastor.

I confess that I have a heavy heart for some folks in my congregation who are facing some real challenges right now. I confess that I feel incompetent when it comes to pastoral care, but I am praying like crazy.

I confess that I can actually watch soccer on TV now and be reasonably into the match and understand most of what’s happening. I confess that it seems like a much more humane game than American football, plus soccer players flop around and throw excellent tantrums. I confess that I love the tantrums.

I confess that I have peculiar sitcom re-run viewing habits. I will get hooked on a show, watch most of the episodes, then bail on the show and hardly watch it anymore. I’ve done this with tons of shows: That 70’s Show, According to Jim (not proud of this one), The Family Guy, and currently Big Bang Theory. I confess that I watch these in much the same way that I eat too many junk foods: late at night while I should be sleeping.

I confess that playing piano feels to me like a form of meditation.

I confess that I’m terrible at remembering the words to songs. I confess that most of the time I refuse to play for people in public or private it’s because I am reasonably convinced that I can’t remember the lyrics to any songs – especially those that I’ve written myself.

Okay friends, I made my confession, time for you to make yours.

About Tim Suttle

Tim Suttle is a pastor, writer, and musician. He is the author of several books: Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), and An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade Books, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals. Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. He has planted three successful churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.

  • Teri Reynolds

    Wow, Monday morning confession on Sunday night! Does this free you up tomorrow morning then? Tim, we are really loving our Sunday nights. It is good for us to be part of this group, and to read Public Jesus, and to hear what others in the group think and feel. Glad to have you as our pastor, no matter what you say you struggle with…it is refreshing to have a pastor who ADMITS to any struggles at all. Being an Evangelical does not mean wearing a mask of piety, (which actually destroys trust in Christians). It is that we have hope and convictions, and we are still imperfect, and honest about it, and yet see Jesus changing us, day by day – that is the gift we share with others. We know he is working in us, and that it is available to anybody, everybody.

  • Claude

    I confess that one important metric I use when evaluating my own writing about politics is whether or not I’m being criticized by both liberals and conservatives.

    That is a bad metric. You should be primarily concerned with whether what you write is true.

  • Tim Suttle

    Yeah Claude, we try not to criticize other people’s confessions on MMC :-)

  • Claude

    Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t realize public confessions were read-only.

  • scott stone

    I confess that I’m looking forward to, but also dreading Wednesday morning. I’m thrilled that this election is almost over but at the same time I’m concerned for what is to come the next four years, immaterial of who wins.

    I confess that for a while now I’ve really been thinking about the other side. How will they feel when they wake up Wednesday and realize their candidate has lost. Will it embitter them or will they put this election aside and try and work with the opposition. Irregardless of who one votes for there will be approximately 50% of the country who feel completely isolated when their side loses. I pray that the winning side and losing side realize that putting your faith and trust in a political party is misguided.

    I confess that my life lately, like politics has become to much about metrics and points. Am I, and is my side winning? Have I done enough good works to feel good about myself this past week? Christ isn’t interested in how many points I’ve accumulated or who will win tomorrow.

    I confess that after reviewing how much time we’ve spent bantering about this election, we should all be ashamed.

    • Claude

      I’ll risk violating the protocol of MMC again (sorry, Tim!) to comment that I agree with much of what you’ve said, although I don’t think “bantering” is a waste of time. It’s good to battle it out with people who disagree with you. It’s a way to learn what other people are thinking and reconsider one’s own views. And the election is important.

      Ideas can be considered good works, too. Although for obvious reasons Jesus didn’t engage in politics, he certainly spent a lot of time arguing ideas!

  • Tim Suttle

    I confess that I really enjoy having you guys in dialogue here at Paperback Theology, and I learn from your words all the time. So, I’m glad you have wasted time with me & each other on this blog. In all seriousness, it has helped me to grow and challenged my thinking in ways that can only bear good fruit later on!
    peace,
    ts

    • Claude

      That was gracious. Thank you.


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