Changes are difficult for most people.
I knew I was holding my chopstick wrong, but I did not change it until I was 18 years old.
I knew exercise was important and too many calories were extra work for the heart, but I did not start jogging until I was 38. Even then, I was not able to keep it up because of one reason or another. I am still fighting to change my lifestyle so I can be low in the areas I am still high, weight and cholesterol.
My wife still sleeps on my left side as she has every night for years. I know I couldn’t be able to fall asleep if she were on my right side.
The commencement of a new year marks the beginning of change for some people. Older people usually have stopped trying to change because they have tried so many times in the past and never seem to succeed. So they resign to the attitude of I-want-to-change-but-I-know-I-can’t-so-why-try-again. Younger people don’t know they cannot change so they try and some of them succeed.
Babies talk because they don’t know they don’t know how to talk. In the end they learn how to talk. It is difficult for adults to learn a foreign language because they know they don’t know, so they don’t just open their mouths and babble. In the end, they don’t learn. The knowledge of their ignorance prevents them from acquiring a second language.
For years, I have told people, including myself; I did not know how to conduct effective evangelistic meetings. Besides, I was not effective in doing personal evangelism either. I reasoned to myself that somehow my personality was not suitable in evangelistic ministries. I knew I was not gifted in that area so I did not spend too much effort in it.
Several years ago, the Lord used a message on prayer to convict me once again of the importance of evangelism. Since then, I may still feel I am not gifted in that area, but my attitude has changed. Now I tell myself, so what if I am not gifted, I am going to try it anyway.
For a period of six months, I have declined all out-of-town speaking engagements so I can concentrate on evangelism, especially on the training of Christians to do personal evangelism.
You can understand why I am more than a little nervous about training others when I don’t feel particularly gifted myself. But I am convinced the Bible places a high priority on evangelism and on the training of lay evangelists. I am going to emulate babies who eventually learn how to talk because they do not know they do not know how to talk. I am going to learn from toddlers who eventually learn how to walk because they don’t know they don’t know how to walk.
This is not to say everybody is gifted in personal evangelism. However, I believe there are people who are gifted in it but are currently telling themselves they don’t know how to do it.
I have had my course outline ready for months and I am still gathering material on how to do a better job in training, but I have no idea how it is going to turn out. Regardless of the outcome, there is one thing I know: the church must recapture the vision of evangelism. And to that end, I am going to do my utmost. I believe that even if I fail in training one person to do personal work, I will succeed in inspiring a few who will be motivated to do it because they will be thinking to themselves, “If this guy is willing to try, I am willing to try too.”
People can change if only they can forget they cannot.
Next time, when you see baby babble or a toddler toddle, ask yourself, “What is stopping me from changing for the better?”