Before preaching the sermon “Don’t Misdiagnose”, I thought about all the people who work in the mental health services. What would the psychologist and the psychiatrist in the congregation think about the content of my sermon?
While I don’t know what all of them thought, one person approached me after the service and said she was a psychologist and was uncomfortable hearing some of the things I said in the sermon. I am so thankful she came forward to express how she felt. It requires courage to do it. It would have been easier for her just to walk out and say nothing. But instead, her coming provided the opportunity to have a conversation over the various things that were the most difficult for her to hear.
Personally, it was her manner to approach the issue that speaks the strongest. It honors God and shows Christian character when we treat each other in a God honoring way even when we have different perspectives.
Another person who is also a mental health professional expressed that while she didn’t appreciate the lumping up of information about psychology, some of the things that were said challenged her; adding, this is what sermons should do.
It is my hope that not only this sermon, but all sermons will make us re-evaluate and challenge our walk with Christ to honor God and to depend on the Holy Spirit. The sermon should speak not only to a group of people, but to all believers. And while this time it was more difficult for those in the mental health services to hear, other sermons will be a challenge to those in public service, industry, or ministry.
Sermons should deal with themes of everyday living and challenge us to measure our beliefs, assumptions, and our lives biblically. Sermons should also challenge pastors as to how they live and serve in ministry.
Once again, I thank my sister for coming forward. The conversation helped me grow as well. The result reflects what Proverbs says: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Prov. 27:17)
Pastor of Hispanic and Evangelical Ministries
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