- Proverbs 27:6 (NKJV) Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
I’m afraid there are far too many “sportsmen” preachers and teachers.
There will be times that a strong and stern word is required (probably more than we realize). Matter of fact, a good word for preaching can come from our New Testament definition of prophesying (forth-telling).
Marvin R. Vincent in his Word Studies of the New Testament defines prophesying this way: “In the New Testament, as in the Old, the prominent idea is not prediction, but the inspired delivery of warning, exhortation, instruction, judging, and making manifest the secrets of the heart.”
I assure you, any time you are judging and making manifest the secrets of your people’s hearts they are not going to particularly like it. The sword of God’s word cuts and cuts deeply. It can be a painful ordeal to sit under the strong, stern preaching or teaching of the Holy Scripture.
That’s why I caution you: Love your people!
Don’t preach or teach any strong word of warning or rebuke unless it hurts you more than it is going to hurt them.
For the “sportsman” preacher/teacher it’s about the thrill of the kill. Their focus will be on the masterpiece they have prepared and the thrill of the delivery and the hope of the applause of men.
For the hunter of souls—the hunter preacher/teacher that bleeds and hurts for their people—the focus will be to faithfully honor God by truthfully and fully delivering the word given them but to also bath every word with prayer and love for the ones being judged by the white-hot, holy “Thus says the Lord” for that hour and for that people.
So my dear fellow preachers and teachers: Pray! Pray for a deeper love for the people who sit under your ministry.