Some 300 years ago Cotton Mather gave this advise to new ministers, and it is worth heeding today:
Simply put: there are some things in life and ministry that you are simply not going to understand. File those away under unintelligble. Some things you will not be able to fix. File those away under incurables.
Mather’s advice to consider some some un-persuadable people as incurables is a little hard for me to swallow. I do not like to think that any person is “incurable”. Such a statement seems to be negating the power of God.
However, I think if we are careful not to press Mather’s advice too far it is sound. There are certain times when it becomes apparent that I have done everything that I know to do as far as counseling some person. When I have done all that I can, then certainly I must continue to pray, and perhaps pray that the Lord will open up a door for some other person to come into their life.
What do you think of Mather’s advice?