I found this following quote today when I was putting together a message about temptation and pride. May it strike your soul with the same force it struck mine. . . .
“The ministry is one of the most perilous of professions. . .
Satan knows that the downfall of a prophet of God is a strategic victory for him, so he rests not day or night devising hidden snares and deadfalls for the ministry. Perhaps a better figure would be the poison dart that only paralyzes its victim, for I think that Satan has little interest in killing the preacher outright. An ineffective, half-alive minister is a better advertisement for hell than a good man dead. . .
There are indeed some very real dangers of the grosser sort which the minister must guard against, such as love of money and women; but the deadliest of perils are far more subtle than these. . .
There is, for one, the danger that the minister shall come to think of himself as belonging to a privileged class. Our “Christian” society tends to increase this danger by granting the clergy discounts and other courtesies. . .
Another danger is that he may develop a perfunctory spirit in the performance of the work of the Lord. Familiarity may breed contempt even at the altar of God. How frightful a thing it is for the preacher when he becomes accustomed to his work, when his sense of wonder departs, when he gets used to the unusual, when he loses his solemn fear I the presence of the High and Holy One; when, to put it bluntly, he gets bored with God and heavenly things. . .
Another peril that confronts the minister is that he may come unconsciously to love religious and philosophic ideas rather than saints and sinners. It’s altogether possible to feel for the world of lost men the same kind of detached affection for the naturalist Fabre felt for a hive of bees or a hill of black ants. They are something to study, to learn from, possibly even to help, but no longer to weep or die for. . .
Another trap into which the preacher is in danger of falling is that he may just do what comes naturally and just take it easy. . . . It is easy for the minister to be turned into a privileged idler, a social parasite with an open palm and an expectant look. He has no boss within sight; he’s not often required to keep regular hours, so he can work at a comfortable pattern of life that permits him to loaf, putter, play, doze, and run about at his pleasure. And many do just that.
To avoid this danger the minister should voluntarily work hard.
From: God Tells The Man Who Cares