It is a great encouragement to receive positive comments about one’s preaching from some who were in the congregation. But, how easy it is to let it go to one’s head!
A friend of mine, who used to be in our presbytery but is now across the Pond, posted the following quote on an email list a few days ago which explodes any false notions. I am not sure where Richard Wurmbrand’s words start and my friend’s stop, so here is the whole comment:
Richard Wurmbrand (Romanian evangelical minister & founder of Voice of the Martyrs) was once rebuked by a monk because of his pride as a young, popular preacher. The monk told him this story: “On Palm Sunday, when the Lord entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, He was received with shouts of ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ and with the waving of palm branches. That evening the donkey told his fellow donkeys in the stable: ‘If only you could have seen with what honor I was acclaimed in Jerusalem! They called me “Son of David, King of the Jews.” I had never before known the name of the donkey who was my father. I was very pleased to find out that he was called David. And the crowd seemed very determined to make me king! They threw their clothes before me on the road in order that I might walk on softness. I suppose they will come tomorrow to enthrone me. I imagine that when a donkey becomes king, he gets plenty of hay and is not made to carry burdens anymore!'” The monk finished. He looked at me [Wurmbrand] significantly. “There are quite a few such donkeys. Young pastors are prone to believe that the honor they receive is for them.”(From: Richard Wurmbrand, “Preaching for Eternity,” Ministry (July 1994), 16)