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Tired of Hearing Myself Talk

“When you begin to feel like you know nothing, you may finally be learning something.” – Yours Truly

“I am unworthy-how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer- twice, but I will say no more.” – Job, after saying far too much, when he found himself before God

What is a preacher to do when he is tired of hearing himself talk?

Lately, I’ve felt a desire to not speak in situations where I usually must (and willingly do). It has been refreshingly good.

I’m not sure where this is coming from. But I’m not panicked about it. I’m actually excited. It feels like a transition is happening inside of me. Some more growing up that has been a long time coming. More revolution. More transformation.

While excited, I am a bit nervous. It seems when I get a feeling like this, no matter what the subject is and where it comes from, it is always followed by a tsunami of conviction into a new landscape of truth that I have no choice but to redesign my life around. I never know how small or large the implications may end up being, so… I am a bit nervous.

But still, excited. I have found my life to be much more abundant, clear, peaceful, prioritized, and impactful when I willingly submit to the tsunami as it comes exploding from the invisible depths and into the surface of my life, obliterating and then washing away all the well established routines of my life that I’ve created, killing them (hear: killing me), and then requiring a massive rebuilding effort in the sunshine of the aftermath of the storm (hear: resurrecting me with new life).

What does it mean? Well, I could guess, and throw out several predictions based on my experiences from the past, or based on the trajectory of my life, or based on the deepest desires of my heart…

…but I’m tired of hearing myself talk. I’m tired of being like Job, who though he is in the midst of a powerful drama involving himself, his family, his God, and his friends – a drama that truly does matter to him and to those around him – I’m tired of being like him, who “opens his mouth with empty talk; without knowledge he multiplies words.” (Job 35:16)

So I’ll just wait and see.

Discipleship, My Life, The Best Life

6 Comments to “Tired of Hearing Myself Talk”

  1. I often feel the same. Actually after Sunday’s sermon I felt that way. The challenge for us “preacher types”…Sunday is coming again in just 6 days. The invitation song will be announced and we are expected to talk. The only way I can make it is to let God talk to me all week and then it’s Him talking on Sunday. The weeks I am so busy talking that I can’t hear Him…those are the Sunday’s I really dread! I am thankful that God has you as one of His spokesmen.

    • Thanks, Kurt. I haven’t been preaching for a fraction of the time you have. I love and appreciate you, your faithfulness, and your longevity. I hope all is well with Grace Chapel.

  2. I wanted to comment to the “preacher types”…lol! I cannot imagine the stress that would come upon you if you relied fully on yourself to give a moving and eye opening sermon every week. It makes ME want to cower down! Thank God that He has called you all to speak to us out of your hearts. Thank you for listening for and to Him! I believe that all sermons affect people and move their hearts!

    Oh what a breath of fresh air to read that first quote. I sucked it up like I was dying of thirst. At times I feel like I talk until I’m gasping for air and blue in the face. It is ok for me to be quieter and listen to Him who is probably trying to teach me but I cannot hear because I’m too busy talking! LOL!

    My problem is I just like talking too much!

  3. This is a very helpful development, I think. From where I sit, the biggest temptation a senior minister is likely to face is one that is borrowed almost by default from modern business-management theory: the temptation to be the go-to guy or gal with all the answers to everything under the sun, to be always the public face of the congregation, to be the guy or gal whose name is used to refer to “___________’s church.” Sounds to me as though you are walking the same road as no less estimable pastors as Eugene Peterson and Barbara Brown Taylor. Concerning whom, you may find help making sense of your predicament by reading – if you haven’t already – Peterson’s _The Unnecessary Pastor_ (with Marva Dawn) and Taylor’s _Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith_.

    Best wishes. The road you are on seems likely to make you MORE of a pastor, not less of one.


    • I’m blessed to be in a place and with a group of leaders where modern business management theory does not have the day. We have a very communal leadership theory – where the ministers do not work “for” the elders, but with them, all of us constantly open to what role each has to play. A fellowship of mutual submission. I feel very little pressure to be the ultimate go-to guy, or to have all the answers.

      I am very, very blessed to be in the place and among the people that I am. And I wish it for everyone, preacher or not.

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