I’ve been asked on a number of occasions how far one should go in reaching someone for Christ—either in reaching an unbeliever with the gospel or reaching out to a wayward believer in exhortation.
And in order to hear God on this one you will first have to decide whether or not you are one of the ones Jack Nicholson was referring to when he uttered those now famous words,
“You can’t handle the truth!”
For many years I couldn’t—handle the truth that is. As a result, I would spend hours and hours on one person who was cursing God and debating every fine point of mind numbing minutia in order to avoid a heart felt bending of the knee to Jesus Christ. I once started another blog just for debating atheists and agnostics and so forth. You can still find it in the ‘Blog Smithsonian,’ I haven’t updated it in about a year. May it rest in peace.
Because it turned out to be a ‘time waster.’ Round and round I’d go with these people—refuting each empty argument with simple truth only to have another comical (already debunked) theory, or the latest, out of the blue, hypothesis concocted by midnight, armchair scientists who have nothing better to do then throw other people’s arguments and convictions out for debate. Like waking up from a bad dream, I realized one day what a blackhole that blog was turning out to be.
Spend your time with the firecracker that gives the most bang for he buck. And stop wasting your time on the duds.
You can love them. I do. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about people who are trapped in their own bitterness toward God. But for everyone of those, there are hundreds just longing to find God. For every bad apple there’s a ripe peice of fruit just waiting for someone to simply tap the tree so that it can fall. And you better pray for the occasional underdeveloped fruit—pray that God will lead them to that point. But there’s no use trying to yank a three day oild pear from the brach. It’s not ready. Again, you should care for them, but don’t force it.
Think of it another way if it helps. I love fireworks—especially the no-no ones you have to drive to South Carolina to get. But I learned growing up that you can turn a fun evening into a drag by trying over and over to get the duds to light—and there are always duds in the box. Don’t waste your time trying to light a wet fuse that only sizzles but never explodes in a brilliant array of colors.
Too many beautiful, changed lives await the harvester who truly knows which crop is ready.