Okay, maybe “learning” is the wrong word, because learning = behavior change. If I learned, I wouldn’t keep bumping into the same issue.
I know it’s not about numbers. I know I should trust God to bring the right people into the circle, that He knows who should be here and will guide them when they’re ready. I know that.
Still, I seem to think He needs my help. I seem to find a way to twist an arm, push before someone’s quite ready, over-sell and over-promise. I just know this is exactly what’s needed, what a life-altering experience this will be.
I’m sure it’ll be different this time.
It isn’t, of course, and then I’m disappointed when it doesn’t work out. I want to blame, but it’s my fault. So maybe if I explain my slow-learner dilemma you’ll see something valuable and I’ll be a tad less likely to be a repeat offender.
The Problem: Chasing short-term results, ignoring long-term principles.
It’s that simple, and it’s bigger than not-so-subtly coercing someone to do what I think is good for them. Whenever you and I sacrifice basic principles to force an immediate result, we veer off the path.
I know relationships matter. I know commitment and buy-in matter. I know culture matters (more about that later). And I know those things don’t always happen on my schedule.
I know Jesus always invited rather than coerced.
I know this stuff. You know it, too. But the old teacher knows we haven’t really learned until our behavior changes.
The path is long-term. Following requires patience and faith – and hope. Hope lets me look back and see that God always keeps his promises. Hope lets me follow the path with a long-term perspective.
Hope changes what’s possible.