A young preacher was to deliver his first sermon. He walked into the sanctuary, and mounted the platform with an air of arrogance and pride. The time came for him to preach. He rose with masterful dignity, entered the pulpit, and spoke much of himself before he attempted to deliver his well-prepared sermon.
Every gesture was in place. Every pause was in its proper sequence. However, as is often the case, the sermon “fell flat on its face.” After the service, the people left quietly, with scarcely anyone shaking his hand.
An old saint, who had observed how the proud young preacher had failed, approached him. He then gave him some wise advice,
“If you had gone into the pulpit like you came out of it, you could have come out of it like you went into it.”1
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Pride is a slippery place where we are sure to slip and fall. Arrogance and self-exaltation foretells a crashing and ruin. Proud men are frequently most proud and haughty just before their humiliation.
“No man can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save” (James Denney).2
© 2017 D & L Publications
- Epitaphs for Eager Preachers, J. D. Grey, p. 98 – www.amazon.com/Epitaphs-eager-preachers...Gray/.../...
- Between Two Worlds: The Art of Preaching in the Twentieth Century, John Scott, Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, Copyright 1982, p. 325.