Published Sunday, March 03, 2013

Problems with shining, whining and reclining

A speaker at a preaching institute said that today’s preachers are susceptible to three major temptations: “To shine, whine and recline.”

I recall when the only thing shining in the pulpit was the preacher’s worn-out suit.

To me, the “ministerial whine” would be more irritating than the other two practices.

I don’t even like to hear our dog, Cricket, whine.

Last night she was with me in the kitchen. This well-fed small dog, oddly enough, has the appetite of a horse and often whines for an extra treat, to which I quickly say: “No whining.”

As for “whining” preachers, the only thing good about it is that, in most instances, their whine is much worse than their pulpit bark or bite.

If the preacher excels in reclining, then let him be forewarned he has no right to complain about the members of his congregation who sleep through his sermons.

But even so, it seems that succumbing to the temptation “to shine” is of a more serious nature.

We preachers are not to “shine” so much as we are to illuminate the path of the good life so that all may find the true way.

Certainly ministers, above all, ought to have a humble spirit and never be deserving of the rebuke once tossed at a proud preacher by an old lady who said: “I knew when I saw him coming in that he had his wick turned up too high.”

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