‘They refused to pay attention, stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears.’ Zechariah 7:11 NIV
Accept it—some people simply aren’t ready to change! They’ll demand your time and energy, but when you get right down to it, they won’t pay the price for progress. Who are they?
(1) People who want to talk but not listen. James speaks about two kinds of people—hearers and doers. ‘Prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.’ (James 1:22 NASB) Instead of striving endlessly to meet other people’s needs, try to connect them to the One who can. They should be dependent on the Lord, not you.
(2) People who don’t think you’re qualified to help them. Jesus wasn’t respected in His home town, yet He was the very person they needed (see John 1:11–12). Opportunity doesn’t always knock; sometimes it stands by, waiting to be recognised! When people are unwilling to accept your help and advice, chances are they may not be ready to grow and deal with their problems.
(3) People who want what you have, but not what you know. These folks want to be rescued but not instructed; comforted but not corrected. And when you keep bailing them out instead of teaching them how to live, you’re not really helping them. David said, ‘It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees.’ (Psalm 119:71 NIV)
Often people have to experience the pain of what’s wrong before they appreciate the wisdom of what’s right. So when it comes to helping people—be discerning.
SoulFood: Exo 39–40, Luke 15:11–32, Ps 135, Pro 7:21–23
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023