Your Ego's the Problem

Janine Tartaglia, as an anchorwoman for television news, became a Christian after observing the faith of the parents of one of the Americans taken hostage in Iran. A year later, God called her into full-time ministry, so she left her career in journalism desiring to minister at her home church. She enrolled in seminary courses and then marched into Pastor Lee's office to reveal her plans.

To her dumbfounded amazement, he said, "No!" She wasn't ready he told her and gently suggested that she get ready by praying. She left in a huff.

A retired elder in the church, Rev. Estelle Crutcher, invited her to come talk with her. "Grandma" Crutcher told her, "Pastor Lee is not the real problem here. Your desire to work at the church is not the real problem either. It's your ego. Crucify it! And let the Holy Spirit cleanse and entirely sanctify you!"

The words stung Janine's heart. She left speechless.

A few days later, a senior adult dying of cancer called the church requesting someone to help clean her home. When Pastor Lee shared the request, she set out to help thinking she had nothing better to do.

Within a few weeks, the work evolved into nursing assistance, as she continued to care for her new elderly friend. As word of her new "calling" spread, there were more homes to clean, more invalids to serve.

One morning, while she was on her knees scrubbing a kitchen floor, Grandma Crutcher's powerful challenge about walking to Calvary and allowing her all to be crucified for Jesus began to take hold. "I felt the Holy Spirit beckoning me to nail down my zeal, my vision for a job at the church and my critical spirit toward Pastor Lee. Tears flowed as I poured out my heart for cleansing. All desires for a pastoral position were consumed by a passion to know and be like Jesus. At last my carnal appetite for titles and recognition was on the Cross. The Holy Spirit filled and set me free from having to live up to my own and everyone else's expectations."

"Search me, O God, and know my heart!" (Ps. 139:23).

Dear Jesus, thank You for the cleansing available because of Calvary.

Janine Tartaglia-Metcalf is now an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene

Adapted from The Upward Calling by Tracy, Freeborn, Tartaglia, Weigelt