“Be thou humble, preacher.” (Stated and repeated and reinforced one way or the other in a hundred scriptures such as Isaiah 57:15, Micah 6:8, and I Peter 5:7.)
It’s a personality type, I suppose. If Mr. Hotshot were not a preacher, but were a bus driver or school principal or insurance agent, he would still be full of himself and cocky. But as unpleasant as that trait is in any profession, it’s ugliest and deadliest in a man of God.
You’re sitting in his church listening to him preach. He’s not five minutes into the message before you realize Mr. Hotshot is appearing before you in the flesh. His words and mannerisms give him away. Listen to him:
— “I told my…I want my…My convictions are…I believe…I insist that my staff….” All church employees are “my staff” and the new program is “something God told me to do.” It’s all about him.
–Listen to his Bible expositions: “The translators have this wrong. Any first year Greek student knows this word always means….” and “Scholars say otherwise, but they can be wrong if they want to. What this verse really means is….”
–He alone has the truth. He alone knows how to lead the church. He wants lots of time in the worship service because what he has to say is more important than things like actual worship and praise.
How the Lord ever got things done before he came along is the mystery of the ages.
Every disciple of Jesus has to have become humble at some point. It’s how you enter the Kingdom: “as a little child.” (Matthew 18:3)
It’s not a stretch, therefore to expect those called as role models and examples (I Peter 5:3) to be shining exhibits of the grace of humility.
And some are. Some of the greatest preachers I know, some of the finest pastors and best success stories, are genuinely humble.
Continue reading “Everyone’s least favorite preacher: The cocky kind” »