Preaching or Meddling?

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The oldest joke about preachers is that when they begin to deal with our true bad habits and sins in their sermons, we say that "they've gone from preaching to meddling".

The implication is that preaching is O.K. so long as it teaches me facts about the persons and history connected to the Bible and religion in general. Many people are of the opinion that preaching is acceptable so long as it affirms my hope that I will go to heaven and the belief that my God is a loving and merciful being.

Preaching becomes "meddling", however, when the lesson begins poking around in my sinful and worldly life...especially the sins I enjoy and would like to keep a little while longer. And this meddling becomes downright offensive when the preacher actually makes a negative judgment call on my bad behavior or lack of spiritual growth. Then the joke turns ugly and we ask, "Who does he think he is?"

It would do us well to remember during these moments that the preacher has a ministry from God to meddle when the occasion calls for it. Paul says to Titus, a preacher, "Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you".(Tit. 2:15)

God's word gives preachers the heavy responsibility of shinning the light of truth on the dark places of sin in every Christian's life whether they be the youngest convert or the most seasoned leader. When that light finds you, don't joke about it and don't get mad at the minister. Rather, thank God that He loves your soul enough to risk your anger and rejection for the chance to purify your soul with the hot light of truth.