When someone knows what God wants them to do, sometimes there’s still a reluctance to move forward. If you’re in a position of trying to help guide people toward change, you’ll need to consider the nature of the blockage. What gets in the way? Here are three possibilities, courtesy of Dr. Charles Ridley:
- emotional – I’m afraid to
- behavioral – I don’t know how to
- volitional – I don’t want to
You need to determine where their reluctance is coming from. Is it because they’re afraid to? Is it because they don’t know how to? Or is it because they don’t want to?
Reluctance is normal. Like Moses, we all have a lot of excuses and objections. Like Gideon, we are asking if we should really do this. Like Jonah, we sometimes just decide to run away in the opposite direction. They all had various forms of reluctance before they finally went ahead with what God was calling them to do.
You can see how the different blockages would require different solutions… as well as how the wrong solution would be ineffective. For instance, if you provided training (addressing “I don’t know how to), it would be ineffective if the real issue is volitional (“I don’t want to”) Likewise, if you are providing exhortations and encouragement through your sermons (“I’m afraid to”), you’re missing the mark if people don’t actually know how to do it.
Be sure you’re picking the right strategy to suit the right blockage. Not sure what the blockage is? Ask some questions and do some listening. If you can get people to engage the topic conversationally, it will provide important clues as to the root of the resistance.