There is no exemption from temptation for anyone.
Certainly there is no exemption for a minister. There are all kinds of temptations for a minister.
Sloth The minister who just gets by in his work. No real sense of working for the Lord. This can also describe the minister who is busy with the wrong things. Sloth has a way of deadening a person to any real sense of joy.
Greed The minister who is always wanting more. There is no sense of contentment or thankfulness for his present circumstances. He entertains a possible move to a church primarily because his salary would be increased significantly. He then says that the Lord “called” him there. Sometimes greed is seen in some very quiet ways such as taking on a large amount of credit card debt so the family can enjoy cars, vacations, furniture, forms of entertainment that are way beyond their means.
For many ministers, however, the greatest form of greed is that which is focused on their craving for approval, affirmation, and recognition. This form of greed can be absolutely intoxicating. There is never enough.
Lust The minister who allows himself the luxury of looking at pornography on the Internet. After all the work and sacrifice, he decides that he deserves a break. Meanwhile, another minister might focus on his craving for power. This person seems to always be keeping score of who is getting their way in the church. These ministers may be on a path to self-destruction by their obsession with sex or power.
Gluttony The minister who does not seem to have self-control. This person does nothing in moderation. Something is out of control. For many people, this may relate to eating and the care (or neglect) of their body. Unfortunately, in many church cultures, this is seen as a joke. Men and women may laugh at over-the-top eating and even make light of gluttony.
Anger The minister who has never dealt with his anger. Consequently, much of his emotional life is fueled by old anger issues. This may be the anger that he has with his father, with churches from the past, or even with God. He might deny that he has an anger problem. However, one does not have to be around him for very long before realizing that just below the surface, his anger is simmering. He preaches messages about the grace of God but is easily irritated by the faults of others. Far too often, his family and the congregation have felt the impact of his anger.
Envy The minister who envies other ministers. He resents other ministers who speak at more events and are better known. He can’t understand why he hasn’t had the opportunity to minister at churches that are visible and seemingly “important.” This person resents that others always seem to get the breaks.
Pride The minister who wants people to know just how important he really is. This may be the minister who is always reminding others of his extensive experience. Or, this may be the person who wants everyone to know about his vast knowledge. Or, this may be the minister who finds creative ways to let others know about his competence. As one guy told me some years ago. “Yea, I moved to this church and went to work. They had never seen anyone like me. They couldn’t believe how quickly the church grew.”
Those who have learned to walk with God humbly often approach life and temptation humbly as well. They know that without God’s provisions, they would easily become entangled in anyone of these sins. Meanwhile, others who are overly confident may assume they would never have any problem with any one of these.
What other temptation would you add to this list?