You’re Not As Smart As You Think You Are

Preachers should always consider humility a must and not an option.  Though preaching with power and conviction is a necessity, that does not necessitate a prideful attitude about our preaching or the knowledge we presume to possess.  Mark, over at has written a great post on why a little seminary is a dangerous thing.  1 Corinthians 8:1 reminds (warns?) us that “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” 

Be careful in your ministry that your “knowledge” (or presumed knowledge) never take you further than your love and experience can balance.  There’s a strong possibility that most of us are not as smart as we think we are, so be careful who you correct.  Paul’s words about correcting an elder should always be in the mind of young pastors (1 Timothy 5:1).  And, of course, your congregation needs much more to see Christ than to see your acumen.

If the parsing of the Greek verb is necessary to communicate the truth, then by all means, share the parsing, but be aware that other than showing yourself capable, your public display of parsing maydo little to edify those within the reach of your voice.  Your vocabulary might impress you, but big words may also turn away huge hearts with less education.  And, by all means, remember that your seminary knowledge is not the only knowledge in the world.  Your mechanic might not know what hermeneutics means, but can you find a vacuum leak and change your timing belt? 

Knothing like an automotive mechanic to humble even the proudest academic.