I, of all people, need to remember this! If we are overly critical of sermons, and too vocal in our criticisms, we may be injuring those who God wishes to benefit from whatever truth is being proclaimed.
A pious lady once left a church…in company with her husband, who was not [a believer]. She was a woman of unusual vivacity, with a keen perception of the ludicrous, and often playfully sarcastic. As they walked along toward home she began to make some amusing and spicy comments on the sermon, which a stranger, a man of very ordinary talents and awkward manner, had preached that morning in the absence of their pastor. After running on in…sportive criticism for some time, surprised at the profound silence of her husband, she turned and looked up in his face. He was in tears. That sermon had sent an arrow of conviction to his heart! What must have been the anguish of conscience-stricken wife, thus arrested in the act of ridiculing a discourse which had been the means of awakening the anxiety of her unconverted husband.
~ Quoted from “The Central Presbyterian” in William James Hoge’s Blind Bartimaeus and His Great Physician (London: T. Woolmer, 1881) pp. 79-80
[HT: Feeding On Christ blog]