People are commonly resistant to change, yet they will change willingly and enthusiastically if they hold that change, personally, as a truth. Motives for change need to be inclusive.
Life is frustrating when people won’t change in presentation of the truth. Yet, what’s most frustrating, something we cannot yet see in our frustration, is God’s the one defrauded; least of all is he getting through to us. Ignorance is blinding; worse still, proud ignorance.
No one likes being forced into changing their views. Almost universally, people rally against change that is foisted over them.
Our Truths Are Different – Doesn’t Mean Either Is Wrong
Our logic—that which we ‘know’ we got from the goodness of truth—makes sense to us. If it didn’t, we would not espouse it.
There’s no guarantee, though, that same logic—that’s so obvious to us—makes sense to the next person—or, can be communicated to make sense to them.
Whether the heart is hard or not, or a mind is closed or not, is irrelevant. Or, what is perhaps relevant is perhaps our minds and hearts are closed if we insist on propagating our version of the truth to the detriment of others.
We will not make it through to change the mindset of this person until they, convinced themselves via God, appeal to their own sense of truth by the new perspective.
Respecting Another’s Truth Is Respecting God and Loving Them
When we have come to the end of ourselves, and our need to be right—even when veiled in ‘defending God’s glory’—we approach right relationship, finally.
We’ve also come to the point of accepting God’s ways—as they are manifest in different human beings, with disparate views to us—are higher, eternally, than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). This is an important viewpoint to reach.
Despite the non-truths we might hear, we have no real credibility to change those views unless we’re invited; only the trusted are granted access to the inner sanctum of someone else’s thoughts for change. And only those considered credible will have any impact.
So, why would we try to change another person’s unique perspective? We, instead, let them be, loving them all the same, within the commonalities we share. Hence, we respect God.
Jesus never spent much time exhorting the Pharisees. We should determine why. He spent time with those who were ready for the truth. He let those unwilling to listen go their way.
Our call is the same as Jesus’. Beyond differences we are to love. We are to reach out and speak gospel truth into the lives of those who will listen. Above all, we accept a thing we cannot change: one person’s view of the truth can only be changed in them by God.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.