There are two verses I often base my ministry on. One of them is “Do not cast pearls before swine”.
This verse is important to me because I think it is one of the foundations of how to talk with people. I find it often hard how and when to speak truth to people and when to simply listen.
Many people, including Christians, believe that you must convince someone into submission, in understanding their side of the story. In order to win, one must out-logic the other, and the other must concede.
I don’t think this is the life that Jesus calls us to.
I believe Jesus tells us to lose the fight. Oftentimes, I sit with someone and I just begin to learn them as a person, understand how they got to where they are. I ask questions, reflect back…for no other purpose but to understand. Seldom the other person will ask me for my thoughts and feelings. When they do, I often share a very small portion.
You may be asking why.
I find myself wondering, “What will I say that will change this person’s mind?” Or “How can I show that what they are saying is a contradiction in logic?”
I must stop doing this. I think God wants us to “not cast pearls before swine” for this very reason: we argue for the wrong reason.
My purpose in talking with someone, especially about controversial topics, is often to disprove someone’s theory or to show that they don’t have it figured out. I often forget…I don’t either. And I think understanding these pearls is not to hold back truth, but it is to protect what God is doing in their life.
God has given his people the free will to reject them for any reason they wish, no matter how foolish. And God warns me not to get involved in their free will. I cannot force someone to love God…as much as God cannot force his children to love him. There is no point in trying to argue someone to God. Eventually, they must argue themselves.
And eventually, they must argue with God.
In the short, man will win. Give enough time, God will let man win and say, “You are released.”