I doubt there are many greater concerns to any pastor than the concern that he should be viewed as a hypocrite. But as we each know ourselves DEEP DOWN we know our hearts and minds. And as I have preached on many times, even if our mouths (words) and bodies (actions) seem in line with God's word, our minds (thoughts) betray us. In the words of the old hymn "Come Thou Fount" there are those times where we are "prone to leave the God I love." Not that we would actually do that, but our thoughts are hardly what they should be.
I wish I had an easy answer for this area. The Bible speaks of having a "sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV), or taking "every thought captive to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). Jesus addressed this sort of thing when discussing the committing of adultery and lusting after a woman in one's heart or mind (Matthew 5:28). It is this sort of inner conflict – one that Martin Luther, citing the apostle Paul, concluded that we all face – that can drive us to despair. But don't be driven to despair. Be reminded that you are like every other person, every other man (1 Corinthians 10:13). And that even though God has placed you in a place of spiritual oversight of God's flock, you are best able to lead the sheep to green pastures and still waters by seeking those for yourself. Because you need them as well.
A devotional life can prove to be a great help to you. It has proven to be so for me. Back when I first "got right with God" (at age 17) I was devouring the scriptures. Then, after about a year, I was in Bible school. Suddenly my consumption of the scriptures was driven not by my desire but by necessity. Spiritually it was not a good thing. More schooling followed, then marriage, museum work and then real estate sales. Up and down went my devotional life during those years. And then the pastorate came. Again it was necessity that drew me to the word of God…until about 20 years ago when, one night, I awoke at 3:16. I have spoken on this and written on it as well. In brief, that night was the beginning of a change in me that has continued these many years since.
The battle still has raged in my mind and heart. I more clearly now than ever understand those who are older wanting to lay down their arms and be taken into the arms of Jesus. The battle grows weary; it makes me weary.
In your battle, take time…make time…to spend alone with God. Mine is VERY early in the morning; yours will likely be at a very different time. But, in the words of another old hymn, "Take time to be holy; speak oft with thy Lord."
By His Grace,