Beware the Self-Absorbed Preacher

A strong warning from John Piper:

Here’s the transcript:

We must be his witnesses. It is a great necessity. Faith comes by hearing a witness. But we must not make much of ourselves. Beware of the witness that needs attention for himself. Beware of the preacher who constantly angles to put himself in a good light and returns again and again to his ministry and his achievements. Beware of the preacher’s subtle preoccupation with himself even when he speaks of his own flaws. Beware of your own bent to love the praise of men.

Remember, therefore, that from the very beginning of John’s Gospel, there is a human witness to the light—our witness. Our witness is a great necessity. And our witness is a great not. He must increase; we must decrease. Amen.

This is really important for me to keep in mind as I am developing sermons (and blog posts). The challenge with illustrations is that sometimes the easiest place to find them (in our own lives) is exactly the place that leads us to (sometimes inadvertently) spend too much time talking about ourselves.

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  • Tony Reynolds

    good post to ponder Aaron…
    Have you ever listened to a preacher that will open the bible ..and then.. take most of the sermon explaining what’s going on in and around their life?…I’m like…read!….read the verses…in context!…explain what’s going on there…let’s praise and meditate on what God says.

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Too often a number of years ago, I would sit in the Sunday service and just be waiting. Waiting for the Word to be clearly taught. It didn’t happen nearly often enough.

      It’s why I’m grateful that God has now allowed my family and I to be a part of a great church where the pastors are committed to faithfully proclaiming God’s word.