“As I have mentioned more than once,” Stan began, “I was very slow in coming to the truth of the Gospel.”
“Tough nut to crack,” I replied. “I think that’s how you described yourself.”
“That’s right,” he said, “and I have a neighbor in the same category, only worse.”
“Worse in what way?”
“When people were reaching out to me with the truth,” Stan replied, “I was not hostile; I was just unreceptive. I really didn’t want to hear what they had to say. However, I have this one neighbor who is really hostile to me and to the gospel. He’s downright nasty. He goes out of his way to ridicule everything I have to say about God, including God Himself.”
“What are you going to do about that?” I asked.
“I’m going to follow what Jesus said,” Stan replied.
“That seems like a really good approach,” I said with a smile.
“It is,” he responded. “In everything. But I also know I have to be real careful that it is Jesus leading, and not me leading myself.”
Continuing, he added, “Jesus instructed His disciples not to give what is holy to dogs and swine who would trample it underfoot. And I’m to the point of thinking my neighbor is taking what I’m saying about God and stomping it under his foot.”
“So,” I asked, “where are you going to go with that?”
“Well, first of all,” he replied, “I’m not going to give up on my neighbor, but I’m also going to be real careful to not let him do anything to God that’s way over the line. My neighbor can ridicule me if that’s what he wants to do, but I’m not going to give him the opportunity to trample God and His holiness.”
Concluding, he added, “I know how slow I was in coming to and accepting the truth. I will continue to pray for my neighbor. I will seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit in how I relate to him, but I’m going to be most careful to not allow any instances for disrespecting God and His word.”
Bible verses to consider:
Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:6.
But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your instructions about how to present the truth to those who do not know. I was very slow in coming to you and to the truth, but I am eternally thankful that you opened me to want to know you. It is very difficult in knowing how to deal with those who reject the truth. I need your help in every instance of dealing with those you bring before me. I need and I ask for your wisdom in knowing when I am doing your will, and when I am going against it by presenting the truth to those who have no interest other than in trampling it under their feet. Please help me in following your lead in sharing the truth of the gospel just as you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you ever been in the situation of sharing your faith with someone whose reaction was like stomping on what you had to say? If so, what was that like? Do you sense the word of God is holy and you are to guard it from being treated with disrespect? Why or why not? When sharing the truth of the gospel, the most important thing is to be guided by God through the Holy Spirit. Do you agree with that? Why or why not? Who is it that does not want you to share the truth of the gospel? How do you keep from listening to his voice?