What a dilemma.
When you try to teach and share, the people who need it the most do NOT receive it.
and the people who are growing/exhibiting teachability,
are receiving the full brunt of your words. We see the pattern of Unteachables->Becoming more unteachable, Teachables->Becoming more teachable.
A while back, I met with someone and I had every reason to be fearful of that meeting. According to history, I was going to get one of these 3 responses:
- Blank-faced stare, seeming to listen… but in the inside, thinking utter defiance. Nothing gets through. And I wouldn’t know it.
- Straight-up refusal to listen and stubborn-hearted anger. Yelling at me ensues. My words only make it worse. And my feelings get hurt in the process.
- Directing conversations to “surface-level”, superficial topics. Avoid anything that may lead to potential challenge to one’s priorities. Never talk meaningful things & never be meaningful to each other.
Yet, I remember this: “So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.” -Romans 9:18
God is sovereign; even in people’s hardness, God is even in control of their rebellious condition. Isn’t amazing to see that it was GOD who hardened the Pharoah, even with Moses’ words for the Pharoah to let his people go? Does it not amaze you that God himself converted the most hardened of persecutors and make him one of the founding fathers of the church? It was ultimately the Lord who appeared to Saul and changed him to Paul.
Isn’t it comforting to know that softening hearts does not come down to our words, but the power of God?
In situations like the above, I cling to Hebrews 6:10.
“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” -Hebrews 6:10
The Lord may or may not grant instant softening, but regardless, God is not an unjust cosmic killjoy. Things will get done, hearts will change, lives will be saved all according to His will.
We may never see it in our perspective. Perhaps we may never see heart changes in our lifetime. Perhaps I will never see that person’s heart ever change and perhaps it may all go to waste.
But that’s not my prerogative to know. [if I do find out and know, that’s a grace from God which I don’t deserve]
CONTINUE to serve the saints and love others in His name. We PERSIST, for we know that God is not going to ignore us. We know that our life here is to live as CHRISTians and stay in His steadfast love. In the end, God’s glory is what matters because that’s the only truly significant thing for followers of Jesus.
So we encourage, and teach, and do what we can to stir up one another to love and good works. We pray hope that others may receive it & take it to heart, but ultimately God has everything in his sovereign will. Therefore, even if worst outcomes happen, it’s still good because God will do everything to make HIS plans go through [regardless of our plans]. There is security in that.
We only have our KING to thank for making this reality. Even if we fall short, Jesus MORE than compensates for our failings and keeps us from stumbling.
As for the meeting,
it went well. And it was NOT because of my “eloquent” delivery [if anything, I was like Paul, “trembling” while sharing]. But I confidently can say that it was really God’s grace that it went way better than I had thought.
It turns out that there was response #4 after all. :3
We can’t bend other knees, but we certainly can bend our own.
I pray hope humility and teachability becomes a lasting pattern for us.