"DON'T PREACH TO ME!" means "Don't bore me to death with your offensive platitudes!" Respectable verbs don't get into that kind of trouble entirely by accident.

Sermons are like jokes; even the best ones are hard to remember. In both cases that may be just as well. Ideally the thing to remember is not the preachers' eloquence but the lump in your throat or leap of your heart or the thorn in your flesh that appeared as much in spite of what they said as because of it.

Paul said, "Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16). Jesus said, "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6). People who preach sermons without realizing that they're heading straight for Scylla and Charybdis ought to try a safer and more productive line of work.

-Originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words  

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