A Warning for Pride in Preachers

John Piper reports:

“From one of the best books on preaching that I know comes this word on the danger of pride in us preachers:”

Pride is without doubt the chief occupational hazard of the preacher. It I has ruined many, and deprived their ministry of power…. In some it is blatantly obvious. They are exhibitionists by temperament and use the pulpit as a stage on which they show off…. Other preachers are not like Nebuchadnezzars, however, for their pride does not take the form of blatant boastfulness. It is more subtle, more insidious, and even more perverse. For it is possible to adopt an outward demeanor of great meekness, while inside our appetite for applause is insatiable. At the very moment when in the pulpit we are extolling the glories of Christ, we can in reality be seeking our own glory, and when we are exhorting the congregation to praise God, and are even ostensibly leading them in praise, we can be secretly hoping that they will spare a bit of praise for us. We need to cry out with Baxter, “O what a constant companion, what a tyrannical commander, what a sly, subtle and insinuating enemy is this sin of pride!” (John Stott, Between Two Worlds, 320-321)

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