That night, something dawned on me: most of the verses in my argument were ones I had given to them before in previous conversations. I shared God’s word and tried my best to encourage them to change. That night, I knew then that this person does know the truth. They just don’t want to change, or are too afraid, for whatever reason. That is such a scary pill to swallow because they are forfeiting their soul.
As the adage goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
The truth is, you just have to let people go sometimes. This is difficult for me because I care about others so much. I have had a few people tell me in the past that I care too much about others and that I should stop. On one hand, they are right-I can’t let it wear me down. On another hand, it goes against my nature and who I am at a deep level. Much of what I do is because I want to help others and encourage them.
In the end, we have to remind ourselves that people have free will to live as they wish. Arguing God’s word will get you nowhere most of the time. We need to make sure that when we talk about it to others that we are coming from a place of love, honesty, and gentleness. At that point it is in their hands. To get to the point of arguing with someone will only serve to push them away further. Jesus instructed the disciples to “shake the dust off their feet” when they came to a place that refused to accept God’s word. (Matthew 10:14)
I am sad when I’m not able to lead others to Christ, which I know many of you feel that way as well. Often, whether it be a situation with a friend, or issues with the world as a whole, there is usually only one solution: prayer. If you are about to teach someone the gospel, or you already have and they did not accept it, take it to God in prayer.
James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous man holds great power.”
You never know how God is working (Eph. 3:20). For whatever reason, a person’s heart may not be at a point that they can accept Him, and need more time. Maybe they never will come to Christ. Either way, you can never go wrong praying. Not only can it help to bring about change, but it will also build your faith as His follower. It helps Christians to let go and relieve them of some of the burden. Isn’t awesome that our Savior bears our burdens with us? (Matt. 11:28)
Do what you can, the best that you can (Eccles. 9:10) and let God handle the rest. If you do your best and others exercise their free will, do your best to move on and give His word to someone else. Take comfort in the fact that God has your back.