Humility in Ministry

There is always the danger, after preaching well, of being too pleased with ourselves, especially when people tell you after the sermon how good your preaching was. The following words of Robert Murray M’Cheyne remind us of the danger of pride in the ministry and its consequences:

“Now, the Lord be your strength, teacher and guide. I charge you, be clothed with humility, or you will yet be a wandering star, for which is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. Let Christ increase; let man decrease… If you lead sinners to yourself, and not Christ, Immanuel will cast the star out of his right hand into utter darkness.” (Andrew Bonar’s The Life of Robert Murray M’Cheyne, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990 reprint, p. 152-153)

Here then is what we should pray for if we are to be kept back from pride in the ministry:

“Now, remember Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone. Looking at our own shining face is the bane of the spiritual life and of the ministry. O for closest communion with God, till soul and body – head, face, and heart – shine with divine brilliance; but O for a holy ignorance of our shining. Pray for this; for you need it as well as I.” (ibid, p. 153; emphasis added)

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