Today is my 400th post. I have been blogging again for a little less than 2 years after a 3 year break. Previous to that I blogged for about 4 years and put together around 1,000 posts. Unfortunately in my ignorance I lost them all when I deleted my blog to start this new one. Oh well, it gives me a chance to write new material everyday without relying on the past. I say that and then I read back through some of what I have written in just the last 2 years. While rereading what I write I quickly see that I repeat myself quite often. In fact, I have a tendency to repeat myself over and over.
I once preached a sermon and then in the afternoon I asked my family what they thought. My oldest said, “That is like the seventh time I have heard that same story.” He was right. I have used it in evangelism class, membership class, Sunday school class, with friends and in sermons. I use it in numerous settings because it conveys an essential truth in a memorable way. So I use it over and over again.
I have come to the conclusion that repeating myself is not a bad thing.
1. Truth needs repeated. Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. He preaches a very similar “Sermon on a Plain” in Luke 6:17-49. Truth needs to be told over and over again in different settings to different people.
2. Most of what we hear is forgotten. I often think about the 10,000 plus sermons I have heard in my life. I have forgotten most of what was said with only a few really sticking in my head. I think of one sermon I listen to about yearly and every time I hear something new. Maybe I just forgot that I heard it?
3. Repetition helps me to articulate clearly I try to learn from preachers, but also comedians. I am amazed how they will repeat a joke over and over. They will try different setups or different locations in the act. They keep tweaking a bit until it gets the maximum impact with the best laughs. The gospel is not comedy but it requires the same public speaking skills. Repeating material helps me to learn the best way and place to articulate my faith.
In my early days of ministry I was afraid of repeating myself and now I embrace it. I think it helps me and I think it helps my listeners or my readers. So if the same material comes from me on repeated occasions it is not completely because of senility but part of my nature in presenting the gospel. Wait, have I written this before 🙂