You Can Lead a Horse to Water...
When I was a teenager, our youth group went to a neighborhood to invite people to church. I remember one specific home/resident like it was yesterday. I will not go into detail to describe his appearance, but I will say that I walked away from that place thinking, "Wow, people really do live like that!?" It was disturbing to see, especially as a naïve teenager. However, the most disturbing part was that he wanted no part of what we had to say.
Rejection is a tough pill to swallow. It is sometimes hard for me to witness to others when I start to feel like they are just enduring the conversation. It bothers me to think of how their lives - eternally and instantly - would change if they would just believe what I am saying. However, it isn't our job to force feed, but merely to set the table.
Jesus taught His disciples that not everyone would receive them and their message, and what to do in this situation: "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet."
I am usually the type that would keep the dust on my feet and hang around until I have convinced someone that what I am saying is right. This is apparently not the way the Lord wants us to handle sharing about Him. I think of the parable of the sower. Our responsibility is to sow the seed...we have to trust the Lord with the condition of the soil.
I don't know what happened to that man I invited to church years ago. I pray that he did come to believe that God loves him, that Jesus died for him, and that he was worth saving. We cannot force someone to taste the living water. We can live in a way that will make them thirsty for it...and pray they one day choose to taste and see for themselves.
Father, I know that it isn't in my ability to convince someone who does not want to listen to the gospel. Help me to faithfully live the gospel in front of people, and to trust You with the results. Give me the grace to share and shake the dust off of my feet when it is time. In Jesus' Name. Amen.