Character and Humility in Preaching

“A preacher is a cardiologist who has survived a heart attack, a diagnostician who detects in himself a deadly yet curable disease. We who preach against sin commit the very sins we describe. The vain preach humility; the temperamental and the obese urge self-control. People think, ‘Look who’s talking.’ But fear of accusations should not paralyze us. Instead, our tone and demeanor should cohere with our confession, ‘Like you, I am a sinner saved by grace. Here is what God says to all of us about sin and grace.’ We all ‘hold out the gospel in contaminated hands.’ Of course, the pulpit should never become a confessional. Indeed, long, dramatic confessions may reveal a perverse pride. ‘See, even my sins are profound and interesting.’ Yet candor regarding our sin liberates us to speak regularly, boldly, and penitently about it. It also gives out hearers the freedom to approach us and say, ‘I feel that you surveyed the landscape of my heart, and I must talk to you about it.'”

Daniel Doriani, Putting the Truth to Work

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