By Steve Higginbotham
"Have a personal Bible study with somebody?
Sorry, not for me! That's just asking for a never ending
argument." If that's your view of personal evangelism and Bible
study, maybe you need to rethink how you've gone about it in the past.
Inevitably, during a Bible study, the time will come
when you reach a critical point. It's that time when you've shown a
person to be inconsistent, or when you've shown a person a passage that
contradicts what he was affirming. The Scriptures have backed them in a
corner. What happens then?
Well, what often happens next is that we drive and
hammer that point home. We don't let up, and we demand an answer or a
retraction? We want to claim victory for our superior logistic skills.
However, the Bible teaches us to preach the word (2
Timothy 4:2), but it qualifies the way we are to do that. We are to
preach the word with “all longsuffering.”
Friends, coming around to truth sometimes takes
time. Mulling something over, and weighing all the evidences may require
more than an initial hearing. Therefore, instead of being quick to claim
victory, it would be much more beneficial to quickly tell the person with whom
you're studying that he doesn't need to feel like he has to provide an
immediate answer. Encourage him to think about it. After all, the
point of a Bible study is not to "win an argument," but to learn the
will of God.
To sum it up, your goal is simply to “put a pebble in
their shoe.” Give them something to think about. Leave a thought
that nags at them, won't let them get comfortable, and won’t give them rest
until they find resolution through further study. Those with good and
honest hearts will have to do something about it. So let’s get after
it. Instead of demanding someone to say "Uncle," simply put a
pebble in his shoe and let the word of God work in their heart...or shoe.
Give it some thought.
- Steve Higginbotham preaches for the Karns Church of Christ in
Knoxville, TN. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at