Stop Nagging! It Doesn't Work
“Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1 And why would a person hate correction? Is it not from pride? Telling a fool he is wrong will ignite his pride and he will only turn from you in anger and hate you for trying to point out to him where he’s wrong. It is a waste of your time to try to reason with him. Speak to him or her once, but if they refuse to take to heart what you’re saying, do not prolong the conversation, it is useless - they want to cling to their opinion and there is nothing you can say to persuade them otherwise. Let it go lest you enter into argument and become a fool yourself. “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, LEST YOU ALSO BE LIKE HIM.” Proverbs 26:4 The heart of the fool has no care for truth, he only wants to speak and be heard. He craves attention, and will turn on anyone who doesn’t care to listen to him. Let him be. This kind cannot be changed because his pride will prevent it no matter how good your argument is. “A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.” Proverbs 18:2 If you find foolishness in a loved one, know that you can do far more harm than good by engaging him or her in argument. Have they not already heard what you have to say? Saying it again will not increase the likelihood that they will listen to you, no, they will only oppose you all the more. You’re fighting a battle you cannot win. Stop it, therefore. God has provided us with tools that work in the spiritual realm, and our greatest tool is prayer. Prayer can move mountains. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man AVAILS MUCH.” James 5:16 What is impossible to man is possible with God. When you were born again, it was God himself who taught you and led you into truth. If there were people prior to that who were trying to “reach” you through argument - remember how unreachable you were and how foolish their arguments seemed to you. Only God can break down the walls of resistance in a human heart. Only God can change a heart, and the only sure weapon you have is prayer. If you only knew how powerful prayer is, you would cease all other useless efforts and turn to prayer alone with all patience, knowing that your prayers will ultimately succeed. True story - one of the great men of God was on his deathbed and a nurse heard him praying. He was thanking God for the grace and patience he had to continue in prayer all those years although he saw no evidence of his prayers being answered. Someone followed up on this and found that when the man died, not a single one on his prayer list was saved. BUT – before they died, every single one of them was saved. I heard this true story in a sermon and it became the foundation of my own prayer life. Pray with me: Father, there are people dear to me whom I’ve grieved over for SO long. You know how I’ve tried reasoning with them but they CANNOT receive the truth. My efforts have put walls between us and it only produces anger and deeper rebellion. Father, please help me to stop trying. Please help me to see that my efforts only make matters worse. Please help me to turn instead to you in daily prayer, because I know you are the only one who can change a human heart when that heart doesn’t want to change. You have ways and means to reach a person, but you are the only one who can - no one is unreachable to you. Help me, therefore, to stop my efforts which only deepen their resistance and to turn to prayer alone. Help me to keep in mind that my trust must be in YOU and in you alone, for you alone are able.