When you communicate the gospel message of restoration, do you first give thought to the heart condition of your audience?
For example, Proverbs teaches of the dilemma that occurs when we attempt to argue with a fool (Proverbs 26:4-5). When doing so, we just can’t win.
Solomon communicated that when attempting to connect with others, we must discern the wisdom appropriate for the level of hard-heartedness: “Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning” (Proverbs 9:7-9).
The Apostle Paul agreed, teaching that we should be wise with outsiders, discerning the wisdom appropriate for their level of hard-heartedness (Colossians 4:5-6).
In order to do this, we need one ear toward heaven and one ear toward the ground.
Jesus warned the hard-hearted Pharisees of carelessly speaking against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:34-37). Contrastingly, Jesus was careful with his words with Nicodemus (John 3:1-21). Jesus discerned the wisdom appropriate for the level of hardheartedness with the rich young ruler. He listened to His Heavenly Father as He listened to His audience.
This week, direct one ear to heaven and one ear toward the ground in order to discern your audience’s level of hard-heartedness. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to listen more than you speak, and when you open your mouth, to give you the wise words to say.