Early in my preaching career, I realized that I must be careful the way I phrase things in order to be sensitive to the needs of the audience.
For example, on Mother’s Day, I always remember that not all women can be Mothers. In our exuberance to praise Mothers we can say something that will harm the childless.
Imagine being a childless Mother who hears the preacher say that God blesses godly women with children. The obvious conclusion is that she doesn’t have children because she is a sinner. Where does Scripture say that?
We can inadvertently say things that can offend people if we do not consider the larger implications of our words.
When I prepare a power point presentation, which are largely images, I give thought to how something can be taken. In our writing we must always consider this. Sometimes, I fail and people get offended. I apologize to them. But the better path is to try to prevent it from happening in the beginning.
We cannot always know what will offend people. In an audience, there are many people’s whose lives consist of events and scars that the preacher cannot possibly know.
Naturally, we can say things that cause harm without intention. Nevertheless, we can give every consideration to what we can control, in this area.
On Facebook, I just saw a quote that is intended to praise Mothers and Grandmothers. The quote is: The Best Moms Get Promoted to Grandmas.” That is sweet but doesn’t hold a shred of evidence in the real world. Accordingly, I would caution any speaker from using it in a lesson.
Countless Mothers have children who either die, are infertile or choose not to have children. What does it accomplish to brand these women as bad mothers? How does that help spread the Gospel and help anyone get to heaven? In fact, it may impede their spirituality!
Let us be careful what we say and use our tongue and pen wisely (James 3:1-12).