Do you prefer sermons that touch the heart or delight the ears?
It is better to have a tough sermon that benefits you in the long term, than an enticing sermon which only gives temporary delight and long term suffering. If a preacher is talking tough on your faults and doesn’t sweeten his words that doesn’t make him wrong about you needing to change yourself. Just ask God for the wisdom to understand that is needed to walk with the Lord and ignore all vanities of life. The sweetness of the Lord should be enough to make up for lack of sweet words by the preacher who at times in the service of the Lord God must call a spade a spade. It’s not that the preacher hates you but rather he is more concerned about your salvation than you could be. Be warned that there are false teachers who use a lot of pleasant sounding words but in the end these words come to only evil. And the sweetness of their words is at best forgotten.
“It is this that ruins churches, that you do not seek to hear sermons that touch the heart, but sermons that will delight your ears with their intonation and the structure of their phrases, just as if you were listening to singers and lute-players. And we preachers humor your fancies, instead of trying to crush them. We act like a father who gives a sick child a cake or an ice, or something else that is merely nice to eat–just because he asks for it; and takes no pains to give him what is good for him; and then when the doctors blame him says, ‘I could not bear to hear my child cry.’ . . . That is what we do when we elaborate beautiful sentences, fine combinations and harmonies, to please and not to profit, to be admired and not to instruct, to delight and not to touch you, to go away with your applause in our ears, and not to better your conduct.”
― Saint John Chrysostom
4 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)