You need someone in your corner.
I ask people I coach and teach: “Who in your life has a stake in your spiritual development?”
If your answer is your pastor, then that’s not enough. If your answer is your spouse, I also don’t think that’s enough. In my experience, you won’t get to where you want to be emotionally/spiritually if you don’t have someone in your corner. A coach, a mentor, someone who will ask you the hard questions, someone who will be there when you need to talk it through, someone who cares, someone you can call after a shitty day or a difficult meeting.
Many people will pay a personal trainer because they want to get in shape or lose weight (or both) but they don’t have that same sort of someone who will push them to go a bit further, to embrace the pain, who will help them reach their goals. If I look at my life (you look at yours), every place where I am succeeding and growing is a place where I have someone in my corner; every place I am stuck or failing is a place where I don’t have someone in my corner. Many times that’s because I either don’t really want to change in that particular area or I don’t want to tell the truth about it yet.
I have multiple people in my life who have a stake in what kind of father I am to my boys. For the longest time I told one of those stake-holders that I didn’t want to be a dad who yelled at his kids and one day he just stopped me for the 100th time and said, “You talk a lot about not wanting to be a dad who yells at his kids – when are you going to stop talking about it and become a dad who doesn’t yell?”
Do you have people in your life who will ask you those tough questions?
I’m a better husband, a better listening, a more thoughtful follower of Jesus, more aware of others, more active in justice – all because I have someone in my corner.
Who do you have in your corner?
Does someone else have you in their corner?
I mentor a little boy – I just started about six weeks ago, and about the 4th week I was a couple minutes late. He was standing at the door waiting for me! And as I signed my name in the office a teacher came up to me and said, “How special is that – he was waiting for you! That little boy knows that someone cares enough to be there for him every week. Look how big a deal that is to him!” I hadn’t quite seen it like that before.
So who do you have in your corner? Does someone else have you in their corner?