Not everyone in this world is gifted in public speaking or have the gift of the gab. When it comes to speaking clearly, effectively, dynamically and captivatingly, one needs to treat public speaking as an art, and so training as well as practice is necessary. However, when it comes to preaching the Word of God, what sort of criteria do we really need? Do we apply the same criteria as public speaking? To some extent, the criteria required for public speaking applies, but there are some key differences. What sort of differences are there?
In today's reading, St. Paul said that he preached without any show of oratory or philosophy, although he did mention about great "fear and trembling." Also, when it came to preaching the Word of God, it is the power of the Holy Spirit complimented with the spirituality and conviction of St. Paul that mattered more. While St. Paul preached in a sensible and logical manner, it was more of the power of God that opened the hearts of his listeners, and so the one who preaches is merely an instrument in proclaiming the Good News and giving glory to God.
When it comes to preaching, it is tempting for us to seek attention, power and prestige, since our preaching could bring us quite a crowd. This is where we need to be humble and realise, just as St. Paul did, that ultimately, our preaching is not for our personal gratification, or to boost our ego, or to glorify ourselves, but to give all glory and honour to God.