There is always this tension in the word of God, and any authentic messenger of that word knows and lives in it. If a preacher, for example, never places you under the criticism of God’s word, never tells you your sin but only smothers you with comfort, you must wonder if he is a phony. If his preaching contains only the judgment note and seldom offers comfort and encouragement, one must ask if he actually cares for God’s people. If one has a high regard both for the truth of God (even if it’s judgment) and for the troubles of the church, he will retain the proper tension in the biblical word; he will both afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.
– Dale Ralph Davis, from his commentary on 1 Samuel, p. 47.