When a preacher or teacher proclaims the Word of God, it should be with the aim to save a soul from death, and to hide a multitude of sins. Jam 5:19,20 Often, and I speak of myself, the urgency to save someone flies in the face of allowing someone to fully digest what is being taught. Way too often, frustration and anger arises because the hearer is opposing the truth, which makes teachers arise to the defense of the truth, as opposed to holding their temper and finding better ways to explain the truth in a more simple format.
It is easy to offend someone and turn them from the truth. However, it is also notable that a teacher must be set for the defense of the gospel. Philip 1:15-18 A teacher must contend for the faith. Jude 3 A teacher must be able to give a biblical answer in order to prove all things concerning the Word. 1 Pet 3:15 A teacher must preach in and out of season. 2 Tim 4:2-5 Even so, a teacher must also teach with faith and love, the same Word which was taught by the apostles of Jesus Christ. 2 Tim 1:13
Now, this doesn’t mean a teacher is to compromise the truth or to conceal the Word from the hearer. However, it must mean that teachers and preachers must patiently allow his audience to digest what they have been taught. Some are actually slow to learn, while others are so convinced that they are right that they are blinded from the truth. Often, the teacher will have to take insults and constant challenges to the truth.
The Knowledge of God is a good thing to achieve, but we must add to this knowledge. Notice the words of the apostle Peter: “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7 As I have aged and matured as a Christian, I have added to my faith gradually and hopefully permanently these attributes.
Each time I misread the intent of someone who disagrees with the truth of God, I am reminded of these verses. Then, I examine myself to make sure I posses what is needed to teach God’s Word effectively. Notice what Peter said subsequent to these verses: “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 2 Peter 1:8-9
Therefore, all who have added to their faith will of necessity also show the attributes of the knowledge of God and will be fruitful in the Word. This may not always be reflected in great numbers, for we know that few will find the path of the strait and narrow. Mt 7:14 It is also worth noting that it is God who opens or closes the mind and hearts of the hearer, and not the teacher or preacher. 2 Thess 2:10 Nevertheless, an impatient or ill tempered preacher can do much damage in the vineyard of the Lord. May all who preach and teach sound doctrine do it in faith and love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and patiently allow all who hear it to fully digest what is being taught. Above all things, I pray this for myself.