Here are some sobering words to ponder upon:-
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 2:24-25).
I am so easily inclined to think a certain message or a certain conversation or a certain whatever, will be the means by which someone will get straightened out in and for the Lord. How foolish I am. Reading 2 Tim 2 some time ago I was struck by the above scripture. Herein is a reminder that it is the Lord who works to bring transformation. It is He and He alone who can bring people to Himself.
This appreciation should bring a significant impact upon our ministry.
- We are never aggressive or manipulative. As Paul says elsewhere we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God (2 Cor. 4:2). We do not have to use devious tactics to get people changed. Rather we present the truth plainly and attractively.
- We are to be gentle with people. We are not to get frustrated if they don’t “get it”. We simply, as opportunity arises, continue in gentle instruction.
- We urge people in the right way according to the truth. We tell them of the call of God on their lives and the need to align themselves with God’s way and God’s truth.
- We pray. We remember that it is God’s work to convert. It is His work to use His Word to transform a heart.