Struggling Spiritually as a Leader

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”  (Matthew 11:2-3)


Have you ever wondered, in the quiet recesses of your heart, “As a leader, is it ok for me to struggle spiritually?”

YES, it’s okay! It’s natural. It’s normal. Every believer with years of spiritual maturity has struggled. Leaders struggle too.

Although the struggle looks a little different for everyone, there seem to be some common thoughts:

  • This dry season has become the new normal for me
  • I feel like I’m faking it
  • I have to look like I have it all together
  • I can see my integrity slipping in some small ways

John the Baptist had serious struggles in the form of doubt. How could John have doubts!? He preached about the coming for Jesus for years, he even baptized Jesus and saw heaven open up!

After responding to his doubts, Jesus said he was the greatest person who ever lived. Amazing. Refreshing.

It’s ok to struggle. Doubts and temptations are constant companions in this world. It’s not a question of avoiding spiritual struggles, the challenge is to be faithful through them.

John had a question and he went after his answer (he sent people to Jesus since he was in prison). Every struggle positions us uniquely to hear God speak. I wish it weren’t so, but it seems like some of the most personal and important learnings come from struggle.

At times, we have wandered off the path of faithful obedience, and the struggle is a chance to repent and go back to doing the things God has for us.

As leaders, and more importantly, beloved children of God, the worse thing we can do is deny that the struggle exists. It’s easy to learn how to pretend, to become like the white washed tomb that looks nice on the outside but the inside is full of dead bones.

Denial has an ugly sister, and her name is guilt. She is an empty hole that consumes all light and life. She is a burden we cannot carry yet we cannot lay it down except at the foot of the cross.

It’s ok to struggle spiritually. Let’s agree to not fake it and, if needed, to repent.



Are you struggling with your spiritual life right now? How long has it been going on? What impact has it made in your life? What seems to be the core issue or issues?

What do you think God may be saying to you? What scriptures come to mind and speak to you in this season? How will you allow God to grow you in this season?

It’s obvious that it’s not appropriate to share our problems with everyone we know. However, has “faking it” shown up in some of your relationships?

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