I have a theory—admittedly it’s a little controversial, but I still think it holds good. It concerns jokes. In my opinion, jokes have a life-cycle of three stages. Stage 1 covers the first few times you tell it; it’s extremely funny, and you’re the life of the party. Stage 2 covers those situations where you continue to tell that same joke, and it all starts to get a bit boring.
I remember reading a story a few years back about a time when the great West Indian cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers (perhaps the second greatest cricketer of all time) gave a one-off coaching session to a junior cricket team in Sydney. Afterwards, a journalist asked one of the lucky young boys what he had learned from the great Mr Sobers.
Sometimes we take good advice. Sometimes we don’t. What about biblical exhortations? Take the following, for example: “always [be] prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet 3:15). This instruction makes a lot of sense to a Christian.