We come now to the sixth and final installment in this series of posts in which we consider what integrity would look like in the pulpit of our churches … or, more to the point, what integrity would like like in the men who stand in those pulpits and dare to speak for God.
Integrity with recognition — questions about ambition
Questions & Queries:
- What makes the difference between “holy ambition” and being “wholly ambitious”?
- How does ambition relate to ego and pride?
- How can we genuinely desire God’s greatest and broadest use of us without falling into the trap of unholy ambition and ego?
Notable & Quotable:
- “Integrity is the first step to greatness.”[i]
- “. . . the usefulness of our preaching will not be known to us until each fruit on all the branches on all the trees that have sprung up from all the seeds we’ve sown has fully ripened in the sunshine of eternity.”[ii]
- “. . . you can mark it down that if you are a preacher God will hide from you much of the fruit he causes in your ministry. You will see enough to be assured of his blessing, but not so much as to think you could live without it.”[iii]
What, then, may we say in conclusion to these inquiries into integrity? Perhaps in conclusion the best we say is that we might aim for what was said of the popular 19th century preacher William Arnot: “His preaching is good. His writing is better. His living is best of all.”[iv]
May we each become so entirely God’s, both in the pulpit and outside of it, that the same might be said of us!
(If you would like all six posts in one paper, you will find it here: Integrity in the Pulpit)
[i] Simmons, Charles, quoted in Draper, 342.
[ii] Piper, John, The Supremacy of God in Preaching (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1990), 18.
[iii] Ibid., 19.
[iv] Quoted in John MacArthur, The Power of Integrity (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1997), 113.