Don’t Shoot the Messenger…June 4, 2007
I had an ironic experience yesterday. I was preaching on Jeremiah 26, an account of how the prophet faced charges and the prospect of death. In particular, I was focusing on Jeremiah’s underlying conviction that the “Lord sent” him, a belief which sustained and compelled him throughout difficult times. Jeremiah is so convinced of his ‘sent-ness’ that he warns a baying crowd not to kill him lest they put ‘innocent blood’ on their hands and bring down God’s wrath upon their heads (hence my sermon title ‘Don’t Shoot the Messenger’).
I say I had an ironic experience because following my message I received, via a note slipped into my hand, probably the most scathing criticism of my preaching thus far. Without going into details, I think I’d have to give up preaching if I took what was written on it with all seriousness.
What a challenge I faced to practice what I had just preached! What a challenge not to defend myself, yet be willing to love God’s message and love my enemies, even as Jeremiah did.
I wonder how you have handled those times when bullets fly in your direction? Does anyone know of any helpful books or articles on the matter?