Saturday, May 30, 2009

On the necessity of humiliations

To preach is a fearful privilege. It's a privilege because of the honor to proclaim God's Word to God's people. It's a privilege because of the opportunity for in-depth study every week. But preaching is fearful because of the risk of getting it wrong. Also, it is fearful because of the pontential for pride to grow. I am blessed to be in a church with many people who say a lot of very kind things to me every week. There are many preachers who cannot say that. But because of the kindness I am so graciously shown there is perhaps an even greater need for humiliations - things that remind me that I am just a sinful, flawed man. If God chooses to bless anything that I am a part of then it is certainly not because of anything meritorious in me.

I once heard it said that humility comes only through humiliations. That's the tough part about humility. We never willfully go the way of humility. It always has to be forced upon us. Our natural trajectory is toward pride. It's so insidious that we even become proud of our humility.

Each week it seems God works to kill something ugly in me. As He prepares me for Sunday He confronts my sin. I ran across these words recently which resonated with me:
The struggle to make much of Christ rather than self is a struggle for every preacher; we’re all prone to say “Behold me telling you to behold the Lamb of God.”

Everything God does to kill this tendency in me is a good thing. God is even pleased to use people whose intentions are not noble and whose words are not kind to graciously kill what is ugly in me.

So I am learning to rejoice in those necessary humiliations that God sends my way. I need them.


Pete Morris said...

No matter where you go you still must face that hideous creature in the mirror.

Todd Pruitt said...


I resemble that remark.

Timothy said...

Not sure if you regularly read the "Between Two Worlds" blog, but there's a great article there on John Newton that I think is great and quite relevant to your post.

Todd Pruitt said...

Thanks Timothy. I'll check it out.

COS Citizen said...

If we're on the Path, we all should have a lot more of this coming.

("Cheer up, you're worse than you think" !)