In college, one of my professors defined a sermon as “speaking the word of God through our personality.” I have never forgotten that definition because it felt so wrong and right all at the same time. The primary goal of all preaching and teaching in the Church is to communicate God’s will through the explanation of his word. Also, my experience had taught me that the person speaking brought their personality and past to each sermon.
This lesson was learned in the early days of preaching. I would hear an excellent sermon from someone else, and then I would try to replicate it. Every time I tried this maneuver, it fell flat. People could listen to the lack of wisdom in my voice and see that it was not my personality but an attempt to be someone else.
Through the years, I have learned to develop my voice. When I talk about marriage, I have 25 years of ups and downs to draw upon for material. My sermons on theology now have years of Bible reading under my belt. Whatever I say about prayer is the result of hitting my knees repeatedly and talking to God. I speak what I know about God through my personality as forged by my life experience. As a result, every time I stand up to speak, I share words that only I can say.
The same is true for each one of us. God has been shaping your life through the years even without you noticing it. The potter has made you into his beautiful masterpiece by using pain, pleasure, and your overall life experience. The conclusion is that you have a message to share with the world that only you can speak. What you have been through can help someone else. Your growth through seasons of pain will be a guide for other people walking a similar path. Your personality will click with some people and help them to understand God better. You are a sermon that you can give to the world, and only you can preach it.