Beware of the temptation of weighing in on everything.
Remember, on virtually everything in life, your opinion doesn’t matter anymore than anyone else’s.
Because you are a preacher and/or teacher and speak with the authority of God when it comes to the ministry of the Word, the temptation is to think that you are a voice of authority on everything—that people are supposed to listen to you both behind and away from the pulpit.
However, when you are constantly weighing in on everything, the danger is that people will begin to equate you with all the other talking heads out there pontificating on this and that. When that happens, people feel free to tune you out like they do all the other talking heads and your effectiveness at doing what you’re called to do is greatly diminished.
John the Baptist understood this and made it clear that he was not “the prophet”, or the Messiah, or anything else. But he was a “Voice” and he had one objective—to call the people to prepare themselves for the soon-to-appear Messiah.
Think about probably the most influential preacher of the last 50-60 years, Billy Graham. What do you think about when someone mentions his name?
I think of three things: a salvation message, an invitation (with “Just As I Am” being sung), and people streaming to the front to commit themselves to Jesus Christ.
With determined discipline he has stayed focused on that simple formula all these years and countless lives and destinies have been changed as a result.
I have no idea who Billy Graham will vote for; I have no idea if he’s a sports fan or prefers knitting. I don’t know what his favorite color is or where he stands on gun control. But I do know one thing—he can tell me how to be saved.
There is a lesson there for us. Protect your voice! For the most part, silence truly is golden.
“He didn’t say a lot, but oh when he spoke, the people listened.”
(On the tombstone of an old country preacher)
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