We have all experienced it. I'm speaking of the discomfort of hearing something that deep down in our spirit, we know we have to address.
We replace the cat. It's us walking barefoot over the hot tin roof.
In this case God's Word is the tin roof. The heat is God's Word speaking to us. Our response is the hot footed express purpose to get off the roof.
Oh, it's not really that. It's is simply a metaphor for squirming in our seat, tugging at our collars, looking everywhere but at the preacher, breaking out in a sweat. Or...getting up and running out of the sanctuary. Sometimes for good.
We tend to lay the blame of discomfort and conviction upon the messenger. It's usually not him (if he is obediently following the Word of God).
Paul sort of warns the young preacher Timothy:
1 Tim. 4:6 - "If you lay all these instructions before the brethren, you will be a worthy steward and a good minister of Christ Jesus, ever nourishing your own self on the truths of the faith and of the good [Christian] instruction which you have closely followed."
Not just what the preacher wants us to hear, but the full counsel of the Word. This means the preacher will be popular when it makes a person feel good. Not so popular when it doesn't.
As one of those preachers I can say that popularity is very much overrated. At least when it is compared to obeying God.
I would rather be worthy in God's eyes than popular.
It's not always the hot tin roof. Sometimes great joy, instruction, wisdom, and understanding is the order of the day.
When the main feeding day for many is just Sunday morning (if that), then it will take a long time to run the continuum of the Word's full measure.
Funny story. I once knew a person who would come to church very sporadically, the veritable "once in a blue moon". It seemed that whenever he came to church I would happen to be preaching along the same lines as they had heard months earlier. Guess what? It was that persons "hot tin roof". One day the person approached me after church and said, "Pastor, don't you ever preach on anything different?" My response was, "I always preach exactly what I know God wants you to hear." Haven't seen that person for awhile now. I am sure that he either has stopped going to church altogether, or found a church that preaches what he wants to hear.
Hear's the deal.
2 Tim. 3:16 - "Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action), (17) So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work."
God's Word covers all of the bases. Eventually we will hit our "hot tin roof". It's uncomfortable. It's challenging. It can be downright contentious. It might even get you so mad that you will storm from the place of hearing vowing never to return.
I was one of those folks once. Shortly after I was saved. I did not want to hear that I needed to change something in my life that I desperately needed to. My "hot tin roof".
I am glad I gave in. I am glad God broke me of my stubbornness.
Yes, I am forever grateful to the "hot tin roof" ministry of the Holy Spirit getting deep down to the issues I needed to deal with.
You will be too if you give Him a chance.
Keepin' it Real,
Pastor Kevin <><