People employ certain phrases that are absolutely dumb to use when you think about it. So I figure I will examine some of these goofy words. Some of these posts will be satirical, some will be serious. They’ll be spread out over months (or years,even…whenever I decide I’ve exhausted my supply of stupid phrases).
This first one is a retaliatory phrase we may use…”Don’t preach at me!”
This is usually used when someone is getting confronted about some touchy issue and they shoot back the above chain of words. It obviously carries a negative tone. In today’s day and age, no one wants to be labeled “puritan” or told they’re being “preachy.” Thus people use it as a line of defense. It makes the accuser back down, review their argument. But it’s absolutely stupid to use.
In some cases,it may be needed,but when you get down to the nitty gritty of the context of the conversation you may find that the phrase is, in an argumentive sense, pointless and shallow; merely a guise to try and cover up a deeper shame. Say one is confronting a friend for a sin, like drunkeness. The friend is offended. What audacity! So the friend pulls up defenses,digs their trenches,and then throws out those words. The normal reaction is to back off like a witch has just hurled an incantation at you. But is this the wise way?
To me,when someone resorts to using this phrase they’re really saying something along the same lines as what Judah told Jeremiah in Jer. 44:16- “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you!” If you’re confronting them with the truth of God’s Word about their sin and they hurl this “insult” at you, then you’re touching a nerve.
I mean, in all practicallity, why would they not want you preaching at them? Doesn’t it show you care? Care enough to stand up to what they’re doing and correct them with gentleness? They can go to a church and have an official preacher “preach” at them, but they’re not always offended. However, once you, a trusted friend, mentions their situation and God’s Word in the same conversation, the temperature rises and the air grows stifled from the tension. They don’t want anything to do with you.
So what’s the correct response? Well you certainly shouldn’t back down! If you look at Jer. 44 in context, you find that even after Judah’s declaration of deafening their ears to Jer’s words, the prophet still persists in trying to persuade them in v.20. Why? Because he cared for his people, as erring and sin-driven as they were. Our response should be the same. Correcting a brother or sister in sin is expected (see James 5:19-20), and when they try to push you away, don’t write them off. Whether you pursue them conversationally or in prayer, don’t give up. If you confront them out of concern and love, then only they are the ones to blame. After all, “faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of the enemy.” (Prov 27:6)