In addition to don’t presume and don’t pretend, the third tip for leaders is don’t push. This is the one I personally tend to struggle with the most.
After teaching His followers not to judge, Jesus continues the Sermon on the Mount by giving an illustration that would have been very powerful and easily understood in the culture of the day. He said not to give a pearl to a pig. Why? Because the animal would think it was food and try to eat it, or even worse, step on it and destroy it. The thought of this was an abomination since the pearl was the most treasured and valuable possession one could obtain in ancient culture. Consequently, in the Bible, it is always synonymous with the Kingdom of God — the most sacred thing we can inherit. As Christians, we are citizens of a Heavenly Kingdom whose treasures are spiritual gifts like wisdom, peace, and joy; however, we cannot force people to receive those gifts from us. The practical application from the story, then, is that others will not hear what they are not ready to hear. We can be full of knowledge and insight and we may be speaking absolute truth, but if the soil of a person’s heart is hard, they will not receive what we say, and they may even turn around and try to harm us with it. This is why servant leaders don’t push; they pray, plant seeds, and allow the Holy Spirit to do the watering.
Friend, you don’t have to push those you love to convince them to do the right thing. Stand firm on the promises of Jesus, pray for the situations that cause you angst, and speak only when prompted by the Holy Spirit. At the right time, when you are inspired by His heart, you words will have a Heavenly impact. However, if you keep pushing and prodding, you might become a resounding gong or clanging cymbal, and nobody wants to hear that! Let your words be few, and let the Lord water and bring fruit from the seeds that you sow.