My guess is that just about everyone thinks their profession is the hardest. The waitress exclaims that she has to be on her feet all day, dealing with complaining people for immodest tips. The construction worker is right to say that his job is physically bearing while not financially profitable. The salesman claims to be rejected all day, every day. And on and on we could go. Including pastors.
I am a pastor. I would not say that our job is the hardest. But I would say that our profession contains some very dangerous potentials. These dangers have been clearly articulated in Paul Tripp's book, Dangerous Calling. Tripp was not the first one to identify the dangers or needs that pastors face. Another man who has identified the dangers of pastoral ministry is Richard Baxter.
The other day I came across a list by Baxter on the need for pastors to continually be self-examining their life. This list is very important. It is a list pastors should read and consider. And if you are not a pastor, may this list help you better pray for your pastors. Please take some time today to lift them up in prayer.
1. You have heaven to win or lose yourself . . . A holy calling will not save an unholy man.
2. You have sinful inclinations as well as others.
3. You have greater temptations than most men.
4. The tempter will make his first and sharpest onset upon you. If you will be leaders against him, he will spare you no further than God restrains him.
5. Many eyes are upon you, and therefore there will be many to observe your falls.
6. Your sins are more aggravated than those of other men. They have more of hypocrisy in them.
7. The honor of your Lord and Master, and of His holy truth, doth lie more on you than other men.
8. The souls of your hearers and the success of your laborers, do very much depend upon your self-examination.