Preacher, stop apologizing!
“Now I don’t say this to make you feel guilty …”
“I don’t want you to feel pressured …”
“Please don’t feel bad about this, but …”
Have you noticed how common it has become for preachers and other Bible teachers to preface their preaching, teaching, and writing with something like an apology? By doing so, they’re dismissing whatever convicting work the Holy Spirit may accomplish in the lives of the listeners or readers.
Certainly we don’t preach and teach just to make someone “feel guilty,” but if someone is guilty, we want the Word of God to convict lives so that they may respond with repentance and allow themselves to be transformed by the Holy Spirit.
So stop apologizing! Instead, “… speak the truth in love …” (Eph. 4:15a) and let the Word of God do what it does …
“For the word of God is
alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword,
cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes
our innermost thoughts and desires,” Hebrews 4:12.
Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and
to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we
are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work,” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
So stop sucking the authority out of the Word in the minds of your listeners and readers by apologizing for it. Instead, preach and teach the Word of God accurately and boldy and see what great things God accomplishes from it!