20 February 2009

Fatherly Wisdom-Preacher, Heal Thyself

Gregory the Great gives this advice to preachers who rightly understand God's Word but do not speak it with humility:

"For indeed, he is a poor and unskilled physician who attempts to heal others but is not able to diagnose his own wounds. Therefore, those who do not speak the words of God with humility must be advised that when they apply medicine to the sick, they must first inspect the poison of their own infection, or else by attempting to heal others, they kill themselves. They ought to be advised that they take care so that their manner of speaking is consistent with the excellence of what is being said, and what they say with words is also preached by their actions. And let them hear what is written: 'If anyone speaks, let him speak as the words of God' [1 Pet. 4:11]" (Gregory the Great, The Book of Pastoral Rule, part III, chapter 24.)

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