Crocodile Hunters and Dog Whisperers
Have you ever seen Steve Irwin catch a crocodile?
It’s intense. There seems to be a strategy to it.
1. Sneak up behind it.
2. Jump onto its back.
3. Don’t get eaten.
(it’s not Steve Irwin – but you’ll get the idea – )
For crocodiles, that is a good strategy. I wouldn’t recommend the same for horses! You will likely end up with horseshoe shaped forehead. The animal kingdom has great variety in behavioural patterns: fierce, gentle, powerful, cute, poisonous and so on. All animals are not approached or handled in the same manner. Occasionally we go to Hawrelak Park in winter and feed chickadees. We don’t jump on them. Rather we stand very still and quietly wait for the bird to land on our hands and eat the seeds. Not the same approach to use with crocodiles.
As Christians we are mandated to approach people with God’s Word. People come in a variety of personalities and temperaments too. A suitable approach to one person with the Gospel will not necessarily work with another. Some are as prickly as a porcupine, others stubborn as a mule, others as crafty as a fox, while some are as gentle as a lamb. We can never ensure a particular response but that doesn’t excuse us from using wisdom. Sometimes we approach someone quietly and others we approach more forcefully.
Jude puts it this way,
“Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear…” (vs. 22-23)
Your personality may be a crocodile jumper or a dog whisperer, a cat nuzzler or a cattle prodder.
It is important that you recognize your style.
It is equally important that you recognize the nature of the person God has intersected with you. The Holy Spirit will give us wisdom if we ask and listen for it when spreading the Gospel.
The apostle Paul says, “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible (vs.19). I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some (vs.23).” For full context Read 1 Cor. 9:19-23.