When Objections Are Raised
1 How should we view objections that people make in our witnessing activity? Persons tell us, for example, “I’m busy,” “I’m not interested,” or “I have my own religion,” etc. Just because an objection is raised, should we conclude that the person is not of a sheeplike disposition? How can we be certain what the householder really means?
2 When persons say, “I’m busy,” after we have only briefly identified ourselves in our initial remarks, it could be that they truly are busy, or they may really mean that they are not interested. How can we tell? Why not acknowledge the objection, assuming that the person truly is busy and saying something like this: “I’m sorry I caught you at an inopportune time. Perhaps I could call again at a time that would be more convenient for you to discuss the free Bible-study offer that is being made to all persons in your neighborhood. Let me leave this folder in the meantime. May I ask when it would be convenient to come back and get your opinion on the information it contains? . . . ” If the householder truly is busy, he may agree to having you make a return visit. On the other hand, if what he really meant to say was that he is not interested in the Bible, he will probably tell you that.
3 Quite often people tell us, “I’m not interested.” We may not have said very much and wonder if they really understand the purpose of our visit. We could acknowledge the objection, saying: “You may feel that your present, program for Bible reading adequately answers your questions. With so many different religious opinions, do you think they are all approved by God? Do you feel that the Bible would help a person to answer the question, How do I know whether my religion is approved by God?” Allow the householder to express himself. By doing things in this way, we, for one thing, let the householder know why we are there. There is no need to argue if he clearly understands why were there and just simply does not want to listen to what we have to say.—2 Tim. 2:23-25.
4 When someone says, “I have my own religion,” you may find it effective to acknowledge this by saying: “It is good to find someone who still believes in God. Of course, each person must decide for himself what he will do about reading the Bible to see what it has to say on such important matters as: How do I know whether my religion is approved by God? The free Bible-study program that is being offered to you and your neighbors shows where information can be found in your own Bible on such matters. After reading what the Bible has to say, you can determine what you feel is the thing to do.”
5 It does require discernment to determine what the householder means when objections are raised in our witnessing activity.
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Be good listeners, joyfully enduring.