I know that as I live my life, and particularly as I fulfill my calling as a preacher/teacher, there is no way I can make every listener happy...nor should I try.
Neither should I try to offend...the Word proclaimed will do that on its own.
But I am still surprised at the very few times I've been confronted by someone who disagreed with a point, or my delivery, or whatever.
Tonight I spoke on First John and assurance. I mentioned that all too often "witnessing teaching" tells people to take their counselees to First John 5.11ff to read "These things I have written to you who believe...that you may know that you have eternal life." They are told to read those verses, pat the counselee on the head, and send them on their merry way.
What a disservice!
Make the time, take the time, to read what "these things" are! "These things" are First John 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 etc etc etc!
I made the point that three of the reasons I know that Jesus is real and I am in Him are:
- My life is different (I don't "walk (characteristically) in darkness")
- I can't sin and get away with it
- I love people
Afterwards several folks told me how much they appreciated the message; not one of the by-all-appearances-displeased folks talked to me.
And that is the norm.
And that frustrates.
Not frustrated that I made them mad; frustrated, in a sense, that I didn't make them mad enough to confront me.
I strive to live for the Audience of One, therefore I try to preach/teach/live for Him alone and hang what others think.
But I do wish people would be more genuine in their criticism...
primarily because it is quite possible I said something wrong, or in a wrong way..and if they were bold enough to confront it would make me a better man...