3 Occupational Hazards for Pastors

Dan Doriani | July 23, 2015

Every occupation has its hazards. As John Calvin noted, “The nobility is full of vanity, of excessive pomp, of pride, of licentiousness and insolence. . . . Justice is full of favors, of avarice, of tricks. . . . Merchandising is full of lies, of crooked deals, of perjury, of deceptions. . . . In brief, there is no vocation in which a great deal of abuse is not committed” (Treatises Against the Anabaptists, 278).

We still hold stereotypes about the sins most common to each vocation. We believe financiers are prone to greed, traveling salesman to philandering, chefs to gluttony, construction workers to lasciviousness, bureaucrats to sloth, entertainers to addiction, and baggage handlers to wrath (just kidding, maybe).

Ring of Truth

Stereotypes tend to elicit both agreement and disputation. To some they ring true, but to others they sound prejudicial. But Scripture seems to support the notion that certain temptations and occupations line up. Consider James 3:1–2, which warns: “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. . . . If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole…

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