Pastoral Insights From “Golden Mouth”

John Chrysostom was a reluctant pastor. It took him awhile to surrender to the call of God on his life to serve as a priest. But once he stepped into that role, his God-given talents were used mightily. He was such an incredible speaker that his sermons often moved his audience to tears or applause. Thus, he was given the nickname “Golden Mouth.”

Here are some great pastoral insight from Golden Mouth which are just as applicable today…

“Thus then must the Priest behave towards those in his charge, as a father would behave to his very young children; and as such are not disturbed either by their insults or their blows, or their lamentations, nor even if they laugh and rejoice with us, do we take much account of it; so should we neither be puffed up by the promises of these persons nor cast down at their censure, when it comes from them unseasonably.”

“Let, therefore, the man who undertakes the strain of teaching never give heed to the good opinion of the outside world, nor be dejected in soul on account of such persons; but laboring at his sermons so that he may please God, (For let this alone be his rule and determination, in discharging this best kind of workmanship, not acclamation, nor good opinions,) if, indeed, he be praised by men, let him not repudiate their applause, and when his hearers do not offer this, let him not seek it, let him not be grieved. For a sufficient consolation in his labors, and one greater than all, is when he is able to be conscious of arranging and ordering his teaching with a view to pleasing God.” 

“For the soul of the Priest ought to be purer than the very sunbeams, in order that the Holy Spirit may not leave him desolate, in order that he may be able to say, ‘Now I live; and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me….’ For he has need of far greater purity than they; and whoever has need of greater purity, he too is subject to more pressing temptations than they, which are able to defile him, unless by using constant self-denial and much labor, he renders his soul inaccessible to them.”

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