I had just preached my heart out.
From my audience’s perspective I’m sure it was 23 minutes of pure listening pleasure.
I had received some customary, “Good word man!” comments.
One person even chimed in with a, “Nice performance today.” That was new, but fun to hear.
Then it happened…
As I was up near the stage receiving praise for my sermon-spectacular a lady approached me with a smile on her face.
Anticipating yet another glowing remark, I schemed for a way to deflect the compliment and show proper humility.
Then she dropped a bomb on me…
She… this lady… this church attender… this untrained, non-pastor person pointed out a mistake I had made during my message.
She was kind, gracious, and worst of all… right.
I maintained a smile and said thanks.
How could this happen? How did I allow that misinformation into my oracle masterpiece?!
I quickly went back to my office and corrected the mistake so I wouldn’t repeat it and risk further humiliation.
I really am thankful that the woman came and let me know I had some bad information in my message.
I was surprised by how much I hated hearing it though.
She did everything right.
She wasn’t rude, pushy, or arrogant.
She was helpful, humble, and encouraging.
My pride was the issue, not her.
If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.
If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.
(Proverbs 15.31-33, NLT)
To the woman who helped me and pointed out my mistake:
Your gentle encouragement has helped me with much more than sermon content.