But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. (Ezekiel 3:7)
Personal rejection. Ouch! It’s one of the main reasons people cite for not sharing their faith with others. Nobody likes to be given odd looks, asked pointed questions, or be ridiculed for something that is precious to them. Because that’s true, our natural tendency is to keep our most cherished treasure buried deep within the safety of our hearts. While it can’t be shared by others, at least it can’t be damaged there either. Am I right?
But, God apparently has a much different perspective on things than we do (what’s new, huh)?! As He said through His prophet, Ezekiel, when people are not willing to listen to the gospel (or any of God’s Word), it is not US they are rejecting – it’s HIM. You and I are simply the mail carriers that deliver the package. It is up to each person to decide if they will open the gift or not. If the hearer chooses not to open the package and accept the gift of God, it is not the mailman that they’ve rejected. It’s the Sender.
The reverse would be true as well. If others hear and accept God’s gift of forgiveness through Christ, the person who shared that message with them gets no credit for the conversion. It’s always about Him – never about us.
Knowing that another person’s willingness (or lack thereof) to listen to God’s message is really an acceptance or rejection of Christ, and not us, should free us to share our faith more freely. Will we? –Dave
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