A few months ago, I was invited to give my first public talk since I stopped pastoring. There are so many things about public speaking, which make me nervous. It is not that I cannot speak publicly, it was that for the longest time I took others response to my sermons or talks as an evaluation of my message. It was as if I was giving others the power to tell me when I was doing a good job and when I was not. I struggled with my response to others applause and comments, or lack thereof. I was intentionally working on moving to the place where my self-evaluation was unrelated to the evaluation of others, albeit positive or negative. There were times people would clap wildly, jump to their feet, yell out “you betta say that Pastor” or some other expression. I struggled with how much value I placed on their reaction.

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