John Piper has announced that he is taking an eight month sabbatical for renewal. A very good thing. That’s about all I want to know out here in blogosphere land.
I don’t need to know that his marriage needs renewal and his love for his family needs rekindling. I don’t want to know it. I respect this and honor this. Who doesn’t need this? But I can’t figure out why he thinks I need to know this. Yes, I can pray. But my prayers for his sabbatical cover what is done in the sabbatical. It just raises questions and brings me closer than I want to be and should be. This is “friend information” and I am a friend only in a far sense of the word.
Frankness and honesty are good things. But they can do harm when the concentric circles of near and far relationships are not taken into account.
I don’t want to know that a preacher is struggling with loving his wife. I am not hard-hearted. I care.I am not sure your wife wants the world to know that you struggle with loving her as she deserves. But this can get in the way of ministry to which we are called. Discreteness is not a bad thing. It can help the ministry.
So, John, go on the sabbatical and take care of business. You will be in my prayers. (I mean that). Take the help Christ offers. I look forward to your return and in the meantime you will continue to minister to me in your sermons and writings. There is more there than I could ever digest. I could spend the rest of my life reading Desiring God and still find reasons to read it again.