You’ve all heard the saying, “You can lead a horse to the water but you can’t make him drink,” right? I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately and know it to be true. Experiences of life teach older people lots of good lessons and the Bible teaches us that we as older people are to train the younger ones. So often the younger set doesn’t want to hear anything the older ones have to say in regard to certain things. It doesn’t matter how good you know something would be for another person, you can’t make them listen and do it. I’ve seen it happen so many times in my lifetime. Unwanted advice is not appreciated. It’s sad but it’s true. You can lead a horse to the water but you can’t make him drink. You can share your good, well-known and experienced ideas but you certainly can’t make a person take advantage of them. And so, as my beloved sister-in-law used to say, “Young people often have to go up ‘fool’s hill,'” or as someone else said, “buy them some experience.” It’s sad.
As disappointing as the above scenario is, it is even sadder when we spend our time teaching a person the gospel and rather than listening to the teachings of the Word of God and accepting it, they make their own decision to not accept it. On one occasion we taught a man who had been sprinkled as a child. We showed him what the Bible taught about the church, baptism and eternity. When we boldly asked him about being baptized for the remission of his sins since sprinkling is not taught in the Word of God, he looked at us and smiled and never said a word. You can lead a person to the truth of God’s Word but you can’t make them accept it no matter how good it would be for them and their souls. It’s sad.
Each Sunday morning, evening and Wednesday evening we are given the opportunity to come together to study the Word of God and to worship God. It is available for all to come and learn. Yet as wonderful as it is that we are free to worship and study openly, many carelessly go about their own pursuits and don’t take advantage of the periods of study, no matter how good we know it would be for them to do so. If everyone who claims to be a member of the church attended regularly the pews would not be as empty, others would be uplifted and encouraged by being with fellow Christians, and the singing would be so much prettier. The preacher would be encouraged to new heights and the community would see a strong congregation of the Lord’s church. New ideas would spring forth from sharing a love for the Lord and most of all, God would be pleased.