I did a job for an elderly man today. Born in Italy, then raised in New York as a teenager. Ended up he is now a Baptist. 82 years old.
He told me he loved his great grandmother, and she always encouraged him to read the Bible and listen to the Lord. He said he ignored her completely, until he was about 40.
One evening he was flipping through the channels, and Billy Graham was on preaching. This was like the late 70’s. He watched and listened carefully. His great grandmother came back to his memory. The message provoked his heart. He knelt down in the living room and said, “Please Lord forgive me of my sins. I want my life to be for you.” I thought that was beautiful.
I didn’t try to correct this old man on anything he said. I just listened and smiled, and I kinda teared up a little once. He was speaking from his heart. I respected where he is at in his walk.
He did end up asking me where I went to church, and I answered him briefly, and ended our talk by sharing with him the meaning of the word Hallelujah, and left it at that.
We are not commanded to fix anyone. We are commanded to plant and water seeds, and let Yahweh give the increase. There’s likely a lot I wouldn’t see eye-to-eye with him about. I’m not big on Baptist doctrine, lol, but I love me some Baptists! 😃 The point is that I could have smothered him with feast days, dietary laws, tassels, or the lunar-solar calendar, and a whole bunch of other stuff... that yes is important, but would have turned him away had I became pushy and belligerent... like I see so many do on social media.
You’ve got to realize that people aren’t going to listen to anything you have to say if you just pound them over and over and over. The Bible isn’t to be used as hammer to nail people down.
“Do you ever get forceful brother Matthew?” Yes. Yes I do. Mainly when I’m talking to pastors who’ve been leading people for 20+ years and aren’t doing anything but making money off of folks. I get pushy. I may even seem a little mean. But I save it for those who should know better, not for people who are seeking for the truth the best they know how. Believe it or not there are so many good hearted folks in the world who walk in all they know to walk. Just like you and I do right now. Ain’t none of us got it figured all out.
I’d encourage everyone to take a deep breath, and just try to love people. “That never works!” Yea, yea, yea... It’s never worked for you because you have never tried it. You may have tried it for a day, but you’re flesh couldn’t stand it, so you went back to thinking you could pound the truth into somebody.
Please... slow down. Love people where they are at. Help them. Be a neighbor to them. Listen when they talk. Shut up for a while. Just be like the Messiah.
Anyhow... that’s been going through my head most of the day. ✌🏼
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.