Preach the Hard Stuff
This Sunday I'm preaching about money. I love preaching about money. In fact, I love preaching about all the tough issues in the Bible. Why? Because they make me uncomfortable. And I love when God makes me uncomfortable... that's usually when he's going to do something interesting in my life!
Last week I was away for a week class in seminary. During one of the class another pastor shared how he doesn't do any preaching on issues like sex or money because the families in his church don't want to hear those topics. And to be honest that shocked me. The idea of picking and choosing which parts of the Bible we will teach just because we don't want to upset people seems to be very unbiblical. I don't see Jesus avoiding the tough conversations because the crowds didn't like to hear that stuff. I don't see the apostle Paul avoiding dealing with hard issues to make sure that the people listening are happy with the message.
Even sadder is the reality that this pastor is not alone. I've met many others who feel stuck the same way...
For me, it's the hard stuff in the Bible that really build my faith. When I look at the pages of scripture and measure my life agaisnt God's standards... that just brings me to a great place of being able to worship such an incredible God who would come to earth and pay the price for each and every one of my sins by dying in my place on a cross.
I want a better understanding of how to manage my money biblically. I want to pursue sexual purity and deeper intimacy with my one and only wife. I want to love ALL people, not just people like me, more and more deeply... like the way God loves them. And it's hard... and sometimes it's uncomfortable. But for me, that's the awesome part of the journey!
I truly believe that there are people (Christian and non-Christian) who want to know what the Bible truly says... they want to know what we Christians truly believe and what we love... they want to know that we're not perfect and that we struggle just like they do... they want to see something authentic... not just hear touchy feel good sermons and music...
We pastors need to love the hard stuff. We need to let the hard stuff in the Bible transform us and challenge us and get us excited. We need to preach the hard stuff. We need to trust God more and more to help us live the hard stuff.
And if we get fired for teaching the truth... then just band together and plant a new church... the people will come where the truth is encouraged and taught :)