Pride in the Pulpit

In Matthew 6, Jesus warns of practicing your righteousness for the purpose of being noticed by men (v. 1), specifically in the areas of giving (vv. 2-4), praying (vv. 5-15), and fasting (vv. 16-18). By way of application, as pastors I suppose we could add preaching. How often are we tempted to perform this “act of righteousness” for the purpose of being heard and esteemed by our congregation? How often is the hidden motive of our heart to be appreciated as a good preacher? How often does our goal have more to do with our own reputation than with the glory of God? 

It was the glory of God that came to mind as I reflected on this passage several years ago. It occurred to me that if the ultimate purpose for which God created us was to use us as a means of bringing glory to Himself, is it not, then, the ultimate perversion when we turn that purpose around and seek to use Him and His Word as a means of glorifying ourselves? Isn’t that what we’re doing when we stand up in the pulpit and pursue the accolades of men rather than the exaltation of His name? May God have patience with us as we seek to preach for His glory and to lose ourselves in the process.  

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