How many times have I rolled my eyes in my heart when I heard a familiar text announced from the pulpit? Have I grown tired of hearing the same doctrines explained over and over? Do I find myself skimming when an author cites a familiar verse?
I often forget that there is safety in hearing over and over again the warning of God’s Words.
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble for me, but it is safe for you.
Paul goes on in that text to warn the believers again (he had probably done this while present with them) about the Judaizers — the dogs, evil workers, the mutilators of flesh, the teachers of a false gospel (3:2). Warning against false teaching and warning about the dangers of sin should never get old, should never be viewed as obscurantist, outdated, unfashionable, or uninformed.
The fact is, repetition of biblical truth is not boring but safe. Reiterated spiritual warning is not overbearing but caring.
God’s Word will never be hidden in our hearts unless its truths are repeated over the course of years. Furthermore, many will continue in a child-like state, and will continue to be carried about by every wind of doctrine and by the deception of false teachers, until in wisdom the warnings that have been repeated over and over again are heeded.
There is wisdom in repetition — OT saints were “to bind them [God’s Words] upon their fingers and to write them upon the table of their hearts.” Parents were instructed to teach the Word to their children dilligently — when they arose, when it was bed-time, when they were out and about, and when they were sitting in their house (Deut. 6:7).
I need incessant reminders of biblical truth because sin is too appealing, because false teaching is too prevalent, and because I’m not glorified yet.
Repetition may seem lame, but God says it’s safe. Next time the pastor announces a familiar text, don’t respond in pride — be wise, and rest in the safety that repitition brings.