1 Thessalonians 2:5

For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God iswitness:

The U.S. Open will be held at Pebble Beach next week. From now until then, the experts will have anointed about 50 players who will win, 20 players for which the course sets up perfect, and then of course the 10 current players who are the best to have never won a major. I’m sure these are flattering propositions to many of the players who are consistently mentioned in one category of another. Paul was proud he never used flattering words preaching at any of his missionary destinations. Such words would have made his journeys more pleasant and possibly financially profitable. Paul and his team taught and preached about the original sin imputed upon all men and saving grace of Jesus Christ. They never winked at the existence of sin or preached the righteousness of man through the strength of his own power. They preached about a wicked man who is destined for eternal damnation, but for his repentance and faith placed in Jesus Christ.

Paul wouldn’t be invited to speak at many of our churches today. You would hear things like “you’re gonna step on a few toes” or” we don’t preach about those things here”. Our society is one which loves to be flattered. We want to hear everything’s going to be alright with a pat on the back telling me “You’re doing the best you can!” Paul knew the word of God is contrary to these teachings as well as the ramifications from their dissemination. Many of our local churches are struggling and have developed a mindset that they cannot afford to offend too many and risk losing the tithing income. Other churches are flourishing and overrunning because they are crying “peace, peace” when there is none and preaching a doctrine of “debt free and rich you will be” as long as you do the best you can in your own power. We have become a society that parents our children in the same fashion. Little Johnny has always been told he is the smartest, most handsome, best basketball player in his class since he was in kindergarten. What’s the harm in flattering? We become an entitled and self-righteous people when we only hear what tickles our ears. True judgment and reality never matches the doctrine of flattery because it’s teachings are fleeting and ever changing with the absence of a solid foundation. The same is true of many devotions. We want to read a “pick me up” every morning. The biggest inspiration, however, is that we serve a mighty God through which true righteousness and salvation is attainable only through Jesus Christ. I pray to be the believer who lives a life solely devoted to Him and His teachings despite the winds of change in our society.

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