A window to the soul?

Preacher.gifI just spotted an interesting post from Phil Cooke at his Change Revolution blog.

He believes that there were warning signs before the downfall of several high profile preachers such as Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. He explains in his post What Preachers Wrestle With Always Comes Out in their Sermons.

Good or bad, one thing in my experience you can almost always count on – preachers work out their own personal demons in the sermons they preach. Whatever they’re wrestling with inside, will work it’s way out in their messages.

Can I encourage you to click through to read his full post?

In my own experience it’s not just preachers. We can all be rather transparent without knowing it. I’ve often noted that those who seem fixated on a particular issue are probably the people who still have a long way to go in dealing with that issue in their own lives.

While it provides an interesting window into another person’s character I wonder if understanding the principle could help us notice the things we should be working through in our own lives. What are the things we talk about most often? Are we trying to convince others or ouselves that we’re doing OK?

Have you seen what Phil is talking about in action? Have you seen it in others or yourself?

I’d be very interested in your perspective on what Phil has said in his blog post. Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • Thanks for the link Rodney. What a fascinating article. I have definately seen this in myself and in others. Even preaching through a series where the topic is pretty much set, it takes discipline to keep away from your “hobby horse” or your own personal hang ups. Have a top day.

  • There is an element of truth in this.

    Sometimes a pastor is in touch with the needs, sins and issues the people are facing….and because he has empathy….and it burns within him, he preaches about it. It may also be that when he reads about awful things happening, he is concerned and wonders what it might be like if it happened to him, so his concerns turn into passion about it.

    Hybels says we should have a holy discontent. I agree with him, there should be things that make us mad…and we want to do something about it. That does not mean the pastor himself is involved in it.

  • I agree partly but think it is also a bit of a generalisation. I’m talking about people’s rants or hobby horses in general here, not just pastor’s sermons. Sometimes it’s because they’re struggling with that particular issue but sometimes it may also because they’ve been hurt by it. I know my rants are mostly NOT about what I struggle with personally but about traits or behaviours by others that have hurt me in the past and talking about it often helps me release my anger and hope that they realise what they’re actions have done.

  • Very interesting article, Rodney. I always assumed that some pastors preached so much on sexual sin because we live in a sex-saturated society where it’s nearly impossible to avoid temptation. I have to spend some time thinking to decide if I think it is wrong for pastors to preach/teach on sin that they struggle with in their own lives. As a body we still need to hear it.

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