Friday, October 27, 2006

willimon on receiving praise from others

Willimon writes, "A pastorate too susceptible to the praise or blame of the congregation is a betrayal of the larger claims of our vocation. Clergy were the first professionals, not because we had received some high level of specialized knowledge that was unavailable to others, but because we had a body of doctrine to profess. We were those who had our lives yoked to some profession of faith. Without that linkage, our pastoral work too easily degenerates into unfocused, breathless busyness" (97). And he makes this explanation after offering this convicting quote from Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
I have striven, with all my might, to attain the position of complete independence of all men. I have found, at time, if I have been much praised, and if my heart has given way a little, and I have taken notice of it, and felt pleased, that the next time I was censured and abused I felt the censure and abuse very keenly, for the very fact that I accepted the commendation, rendered me more sensitive to the censure. So that I have tried, especially of late, to take no more notice of man's praise than of his blame, but to rest simply upon this truth - I know that I have a pure motive in what I attempt to do, I am conscious that I endeavor to serve God with a single eye to His glory, and therefore, it is not for me to take either praise or censure from man, but to stand independently upon the rock of right doing.

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