Most preachers, including yours truly, have little time for critics, let alone those who dare to criticize our sermons. I was much comforted by the same attitude expressed by one of the celebrated speakers of ancient times. See what you think:
“It is a thing of no great difficulty to raise objections against another man's oration -- nay, it is a very easy matter -- but to produce a better in its place is a work extremely troublesome.” Plutarch.
Over time I have learned the value of standing in awe of the truly great speakers and writers of our time and to seriously pray for the few who can mess up a sermon worse than me!
A preacher friend of mine preached a brief sermon each day on a local radio station. Each morning he would trek to the station and produce a live show. The station instituted a policy of pre-recording all programs. My friend produced five recorded programs on a Roberts Mono wide track recorder. On Monday he sat a home and listened to his recorded program. He never produced another program, resigned from his church and became a great and fruitful member of his church. He told me one time, “Larry, in all my life I have never listened to a more terrible sermon than what I preached. I love simply serving Jesus as a lay person.”
Try as I might, there was no reversing his decision and he really did live a fulfilled life of service.
Around fifty years ago, I heard my pastor, Dr. Tom Wallace use an illustration in a conference in Augusta, GA, that featured a physically challenged man. Dr. Wallace acted out the struggles of the man. Later, around refreshments at a local restaurant a few preachers were tearing the illustration to pieces and condemning the speaker to highest punishment. The good Dr. took the criticism to heart. His critics never came close to the effectiveness of Pastor Wallace who, now, at age 87, still travels the world preaching the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ. I recall that not one of his critics ever accomplished much!
Pastor Wallace taught me; “Never argue with critics and engage in self-pity for what is said or written about you. Simply out-perform the critics over time!”
Copyright © 2017 Larry Lilly
The Best IT work. Oral Deckard