Throwing Up Bitterness and Cynicism on My Blog – An Honest Confession

This post could gain some criticism because of the level of honesty and confession here. James 5 reminds us that confession our faults to one another brings healing. Some may choose to take the critical road, but I pray that most (if not all) would see the propensity of all of us to do what I am about to share.

This blog began in 2015. I was still recovering from the aftermath of my separation and divorce. In retrospect, I see how cynical and bitter I was as I wrote. This blog was an outlet. Many read this and connected with my sentiments. Others did not understand or misconstrued what was written here. If I could go back and change things, there are a lot of posts that would have never been published. Despite my own struggles, God used several of my posts to help some people who shared similar struggles. Many read the real struggles of a man who happened to be in ministry and understood we have similar struggles as “normal people” (whatever normal means).

Many of my posts stemmed from my feelings about pastors and church members who bullied me, those in the church who feel my divorce disqualified me from doing anything for the Lord, and any other struggles that accompanied being a pastor and a church planter. Some of my struggles were a result of pride, poor choices, etc. Others were conflicts that, at their core, were similar to what many others face. Many of you who read these posts graciously stood with me on my path to healing. For that, I am grateful.

This last year has been a year of realization. In a previous season, I was very passionate about ministering strictly in one local church on staff. I stepped into church planting (something I liked the thought of but did not possess the gifts necessary to do it well). I am thankful for the people who stood with me during that season. It was difficult to admit to my inadequacy, but it was a step in discovering where my heart truly is during this season of my life – ministering to pastors (lead, student, executive, worship, children’s, etc.) and ministry leaders of various sorts. I know some of the struggles, and I realize that pastoral health aids in church health. Church health leads to biblical church growth.

This next ministry assignment is very different from what I have done. So many pastors have no safe place to turn. They don’t have the resources they often need to be the best they can be. I have prayed for an opportunity to invest my life in other pastors. God showed me it is possible through the ministry of Standing Stone (my new ministry calling).

Had I had a Standing Stone Shepherd, I may have handled some of my ministry situations much better. I now resolve to be what I needed during these very challenging seasons of my life. I know this cannot happen apart from the work of God’s Spirit. I know He is able.

I don’t know what shape this blog will take as I enter a new season of ministry, but I strive to continue to be honest, authentic, and transparent as I write. I do know, moving forward, that I long to write from the place of a healed man full of the Holy Spirit rather than a hurt man who used his blog to vomit bitterness and cynicism. I know I will never know all who were offended by my approach, but I pray that God will allow me to rebuild bridges than rejoice in the ones burned. Not every bridge will be repaired, but I long to know that I have done everything possible to live peaceably with all people as Scripture calls us to do.

Thank you to all those who loved me through the ups and downs! You have refreshed my spirit. To those I offended, I seek your forgiveness. Hurt distorts perspective. This does not justify a wrong approach, but it shows us our sinful nature once again. May the future of this blog minister life, encouragement, and truth to all who read. God bless you!

23 thoughts on “Throwing Up Bitterness and Cynicism on My Blog – An Honest Confession

  1. It has been an interesting journey for you! What I have always seen most is your heart for following God… be it the unpopular way… or the humble piece of humility. God is always first for you… even about yourself. Praying for you, Matthew. Wherever your journey leads, God will there with you… loving you no matter what!

  2. If anything, we should rejoice with you in overcoming a hard time in your life with the grace of God. It is always great to see spiritual growth over time, and how are character has been strengthened. God Bless Pastor!

  3. I am excited for this next phase in your ministry, Matthew! This news is an answer to prayer for sure. πŸ™πŸΎ

    PS β€” To my knowledge, I have not been offended by anything that you have written (I started blogging in late 2016). From my perspective, the Lord has used you to speak light and truth into some areas of life and ministry that otherwise might not have been discussed so openly.

  4. I just want to share that I am so thankful that I have stumbled across your little piece of the interweb. It truly is wonderful how such amazing people are out there looking to be exactly who you are hoping a faith professor comes to be. I have been disillusioned with the church for a long time, turned off by the falseness of the quintessential church service and the void of the spiritual connection I yearned for.

    I found my way to you by way of Mitch Teemley who is another one of those I found and immediately felt a spiritual connection to. Thank you for finding your way to your special path of ministering. It makes me so happy to see how the church is starting to sway and shift and bend to the will of the spiritual need and not just the need to prop up God’s houses all over the land. It truly humbles me to see God working so diligently and purposefully in the lives of all, bringing us all together harmoniously (my dream) to live together in a world full of the love of God.

    I have a post – https://exploringalura.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/whats-your-prophet-like/

    It talks about what I feel is the current age of religion that is upon us. I refer to it as the Age of Prophets and prophets. I share this with you because I feel strongly based on the limited number of posts I have read of yours that you fall into the category of a True Prophet. From the post, “True Prophets ooze with the same powerful aura that resonates from the One True Prophet (a term for one specific person of this modern age). They are beautiful and charismatic and talented and they come with a reality that changes yours the moment you connect to the truth they share freely. True Prophets are there to make you feel better. They do not promote hurting others, or being disrespectful under any conditions. True Prophets are human though and so they make mistakes and they falter. But always True Prophets will rise again to show that even in the depths of darkness, light always returns.”

    I’m beyond excited to add another True Prophet to my Reader. I look forward to the truth and spiritual connection you have found a way to share with your words. It is truly a blessed experience to feel the warmth of your words and the light of your love of God through the interweb. Thanks for sharing yourself so beautifully and boldly.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! As someone who has served on staff in churches, I have seen the good, bad, and ugly. God led me to share about things that people struggle with as they strive to have an authentic relationship with God. I am always thankful for how God uses this blog and how He connects people through it. In these difficult times, we must unite. There are truly some likeminded people who can come together and be a light in the darkness. God bless you!

      1. May God continue to shine His blessings upon your path and may you continue to grow in your awareness of all the blessings laid before you.

        Authentic Relationship. That’s what drew me into you. That is what I crave. Too many pretty services, full of prettily dressed people, singing pretty songs and listening to pretty words about a beautiful and all encompassing love. All wonderful. All great. But simply put, not enough.

        Life can be beautiful and blissful and extremely pretty when looked at from the right perspective. But the truth of reality is that the nitty gritty details of what it takes to exist make life less than ideal and far less pretty than church services advertise. I’m looking for truthful advertising.

        My God helps me always and has always been there when I have been in my darkest moments. Specific moments where I was throwing my middle fingers up to the heavens and telling God how little I thought of His lack of Peace on Earth and how degraded I felt as a woman and all the other beefs I felt the need to take up with Him. He was there in those dark moments when I took Him to task for all the ways I felt He had failed me and my humanity. And He was there to see me through to the good moments where I came to find that I didn’t care to be angry with Him, I just wanted life to be better for all.

        With my bipolar I go all over the spectrum with how I feel towards God, and through every high and every low, He is always there showing me how truthfully He cares and how lovingly He protects His own. And that love and protection goes right down to protecting me from myself, something He has stepped in and provided in abundance.

        I look forward to sharing in the light you bring to the world and those of similar minds. Truly we are made better by the best in each of us and by bringing to the light the hardest and darkest parts of our nature, we can find ways to illuminate the darkness and elevate it to holy understanding and devoted commitment to being a better version of ourselves for the One Who Makes Us Whole.

        May Peace Find Your Path Today.

  5. Too many people think that the “godly” believers have no baggage, and because they do, they figure the Christian faith wouldn’t work for them. We need more honesty about our hurts if we’re going to reach a hurt world.

  6. With all that you said here, may we all look upon it, seeing ourselves in your words and extend much grace…….there is always grace brother! Bless your heart.

  7. Thanks for your honesty.

    I started my own blog with the idea of promoting living in a state of Grace and living sanctified lives as believers in Jesus Christ and instead. many times, I was sanctimonious rather than sanctified.
    Just over a year ago I came to Christ and tomorrow I am going to be baptised.
    What I now know a year later with great certainty is how much of a sinner I am, that I desperately need Jesus as I am nothing without Him, only a sinner. I have been humbled by people around me who do not just talk the talk but walk the walk with a loving and tender heart, slow to judge and slow to anger, whilst I have inwardly judged them on their lack of scripture reading.

    He must increase, but I must decrease.
    He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
    And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
    He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
    For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
    The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
    John 3:30-35

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