By now I've preached or taught over 7,500 times, I've written another 2,000 articles and blogged a little more than 500 times. I want to post something in a very public manner. While I have always tried to preach to the human heart and the needs I am aware of, I never try to use my "pulpit", blog or other forums to belittle, attack or call out individuals. I must admit at times in writing a sermon, a blog, etc. a name of someone I care about or someone I am concerned about will flash through my mind. BUT I have never misused that thought in the idea of doing someone harm.
Please know I am not trying to make myself look better than I am and act like my motives are always pure. As much as I wish I could say they are they are not - Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" But I have searched my heart on this matter and do know that fact. I love people and want them to do right, to live right, and to feel good about that endeavor. To rejoice in our stumbling efforts to be true to the Lord.
More often than not, the person who least needs the "message" is most convicted. I used to be amazed, I'd preach a sermon on kindness and the kindest person in the audience would be touched and respond.
I asked dad about it once and he gave me one of those answers: "that's just the way it is." Thanks. But he was and is right. And it doesn't do any harm for the person whose prayer life is strong to be convicted that it be stronger, or regularly shares the story of their faith to want to share it more often and effectively.
Back to the subject at hand (yes, there is one). If I had a dollar for every time someone incorrectly accused me of "preaching at them" or "that article was about me, wasn't it?" I'd have enough money to buy a used Yugo (so it doesn't happen that often, but it does seem to happen a lot).
This seems to happen EVEN MORE in the blogging field. It is actually pretty rare that I write one that someone doesn't contact me thinking it is about them.
But you see, I try not to do that. In fact, I keep a file on my dropbox called "Blog Starters and Ideas: - that file is 17 pages long and some of the posts are 3 or 4 years old. The truth is I try to address things that we as humans deal with, things that I observe a lot of folks struggle with. So if I preach on not forgiving another - a lot of people will think it is about them. Or if I preach on being negative toward leaders or about the Lord's church - a lot of folks struggle there. I could go on and on...yes, and on. I also preach on stuff I struggle with - in fact my strongest sermons are most often where I "live" and preached first (and second) to me!
It used to upset me when people would make this accusation, now I just like to think (and say if I have the guts): "If you needed that, I'm glad I preached it, I hope it helps you."
The fact is much MORE often I think after I've written something, "I hope ____ (some person's name would go here) doesn't think this is directed at them." Hence my oft repeated disclaimers.
Dear friends, I'm blessed to preach and I enjoy trying to put words together in written form. And I'm thankful you take the time to read some of my scribblings.
I just wanted to say that in a public manner.
Now for the question. How about living with this one for a couple of weeks and to ask yourself before you do or say something:
Is this the most loving thing do/say?