“Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” Col. 4:3
So much like a double-edged sword, the Word of God clarifies as well as mystifies things, and whatever effect it has is primarily determined by listeners and readers.
“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself,” wrote Paul in his first letter to Timothy. By the same token, the Word of God is valid in and of itself, and it can never be discredited by people’s disbelief. Yet this does not give us an excuse to not present God’s word to unbelievers in a clear and down-to-earth fashion so that people can understand.
“To the Greek I will be a Greek,” the apostle wrote. Paul was self-assured and secure enough as a person and there was no need for him to promote himself by embellishing his gospel message with flowery language or worldly wisdom to impress people. His message and presentation were always clear and to the point, yet clarity doesn’t mean simplicity. He had an unusual gift of being able to present the profoundest message in simple language, which is something we should emulate.
Quite often I seemed to be preaching merely to myself when I was in the pulpit, for my main concern was to make a good impression on my audience and feel good about myself at the same time. For this reason, being superficial has always been something I have tried to avoid.
My poetry reads like riddles, and it’s wise that I have started to write prose. “Composing poetry is akin to speaking in tongues,” I said to someone. No wonder among writers, poets are understood and appreciated the least.
“Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.”
I may speak to the point of exhaustion, yet it all will be moot unless I keep my listeners in mind. It puzzles me to no end that some speakers or preachers continue to press on in their speeches even they seem to have lost the majority of their audience. It appears to me a lot of speakers have never acquired the all-important skill of reading their audiences’ body language and knowing when to quit speaking when it’s time to quit.
It’s quite a humbling experience to act as God’s prophet and to proclaim his holy Word; therefore I should not be insulted when people turn a deaf ear to my message. A sower has no right to decide on which ground to scatter his seeds, and it’s the business of the Lord to cause the seed to grow. So why does it even matter that people sitting in the pews fall fast asleep? I may lose a little bit of self-esteem, yet what they may lose by not listening is far greater than my injured self-respect.
Even so, I should repent when people become bored listening to my preaching, for I could always have spent more time preparing so that I could proclaim it more clearly and more interestingly.
Monday, November 19, 2018 7:03:00 AM