Convicting or Condemning

I recently heard a pastor give some hard messages on topics which were sure to make his audience uncomfortable. I have no problem with that. It’s necessary to do that sometimes.

But what I’ve found is that there is a fine line, as a speaker, between being convicting and condemning. As someone who teaches God’s Word, I want to be convicting. People need to be challenged. They need to see their need to change. I don’t, however, want to be condemning. The Bible says that Jesus didn’t come to condemn (John 3:17) so I certainly don’t think it’s what I’m supposed to do.

So how, if you’re someone who preaches, do you be convicting but not condemning? I think a huge part of it is dependant on one little word. I’ll tell you tomorrow what that word is.