You’ll have to convince people, sooner or later. Yes, when you’re a student, your life is all about getting the right answer. And if you get the right answer, they HAVE to give you that grade. So you might be thinking that life is like that, I work and they have to pay me, eventually they have to give me bonuses, and promote me. But life doesn’t work that way.
The biggest struggle that young pastors have is facing the shock of leaving an academic environment, where it’s all about properly defending your point of view, and entering a world there they essentially need to convince people for a living. And more than a few pastors resist this transition, and try to live in a world where we as a congregation will accept whatever they preach, as long as they give us an adequate “proof”.
But the world just doesn’t make decisions that way. Make no mistake, people make decisions according to their deeply irrational heart, way more than according to their head, no matter what they tell you.
If you want a job, you’ll be convincing them to hire you, if you want to sell something on that job, you’ll need to convince people to buy it, and even if you do everything right, it’s not certain, at all, that you’ll succeed.
But we don’t like hearing all that. I guess nobody wants to be vulnerable to failure, especially when it’s beyond our control. When you ask someone to make a decision, based on something you’ve suggested, then you’re facing some possible rejection, and who wants to live in that world?
But all that is irrelevant to you and I, because we are Christians, and Christians are meant to be world-changers. By the way we live, and work, and love one another, we help convince people to throw off the shackles of slavery to this world, and discover a love beyond measure, beyond all things physical.
If you want to date someone, you’ll need to do some convincing. After all, you’re asking them to invest their whole life in you. It’s all fine and good to think that you can just be a good person, and sit on a park bench, and that someone will come along and do all the romancing for you, but it ain’t gonna go down like that.
You will be a witness, you will play an active role in your love life, and you will not live your whole life like a big fat chicken. You have no reason to fear human rejection, you are already accepted, by God, in every possible important way. Yes some fool will turn you down when you ask them out, some boss won’t see what they have in front of them and fail to hire you.
But you’ll never be tempted to try and live in that small sad world, where you hide from trying to convince people of things, because you’ll always be witnessing. And you’ll be doing it with a total patience that says, “if I don’t convince you today, I’m gonna convince you next week, or next year. But I’m not going anywhere.”
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