“Can we only speak when we are fully living what we are saying? If all our words had to cover all our actions, we would be doomed to permanent silence! Sometimes we are called to proclaim God’s love even when we are not yet fully able to live it. Does that mean we are hypocrites? Only when our own words no longer call us to conversion. Nobody completely lives up to his or her own ideals and visions. But by proclaiming our ideals and visions with great conviction and great humility, we may gradually grow into the truth we speak. As long as we know that our lives always will speak louder than our words, we can trust that our words will remain humble.” – Henri Nouwen.

As a preacher I’ve struggled with this. How can I preach this sermon when I know my life doesn’t match it? When I was younger I maybe shied away from some subjects because I was uncomfortable. But then I realized that maybe I needed to hear the sermon more than the congregation. If I needed to hear it, then maybe some of them could benefit from hearing it too.

Advertisements