Thursday, December 4, 2014

Peterson, 1987. Chapter 8, "Getting a Spiritual Director"

Chapter 8, “Getting a Spiritual Director” (Loc. 1572-1697)

Physicians look for other physicians to care for them. Pastors also need other pastors to engage in spiritual care. For many generations it was always expected that a pastor would have someone engaged in care for him. This is no longer the case. Peterson sees this as a great matter of concern. “We find pastors who don’t pray, pastors who don’t grow in faith, pastors who can’t tell the difference between culture and the Christ, pastors who chase fads, pastors who are cynical and shopworn, pastors who know less about prayer after twenty years of praying than they did on the day of their ordination, pastors with arrogant, outsized egos puffed up by years of hot-air flattery from well-meaning parishoners…” (Loc. 1581).

Though pastors speak authoritatively they have a primary identity as a dervant of Christ. This is a difficult life.

Peterson observes that we actually learn and grow best when we have a teacher providing examples and accountability. As with his example of playing a musical instrument, so also with a life of prayer. We go astray when we have an attitude of dependence only on Jesus with no other human relationship. The spiritual director helps us see our condition clearly, bears burdens with us, and enables us to trust more freely in Christ.

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