How Do You Know When It’s the Right (or Wrong) Times to Plant Seeds?
When is it a good time to plant Biblical seeds of truth with other people?
Example a Catholic friend posted that Christmas, on December 25th, is Jesus’ actual birth date. (Even though we know it to be the day of his conception.) Should I have corrected that post, using it as an opportunity to plant seeds of truth?
Or, as another example, I have a Jewish friend who is barely studying the Torah and doesn’t see the symbolism of Jesus as our savior in Isaiah 53. Not that he doesn’t agree with our Faith. He’s just barely studying the Word for the 1st time in his life. Since there are so many places in the Bible I can show him that refer to the Messiah….Genesis 3:15, for example…shouldn’t I take it upon myself to do so?
I would like to explain to them where their thinking is wrong, and plant some seeds of truth to help them get on the right track. Yet, they never ask me. So I don’t say anything. I’m not sure if I’m missing any opportunities from God, or if I should shut up until I’m being asked about it.
Last time I was talking to a girl who I was interested in, and she didn’t like my knowledge of the Word. She was more into the traditions of her Catholic beliefs. So she didn’t really ask me about God’s Word.
Planting seeds of Bible truth is more of an art form than a science. But the general rule-of-thumb is that you plant seeds when you’re asked.
In other words, if an individual comes up to you and says something like, “One thing I’ve never understood about the Bible is why one verse says we should never judge others lest we be likewise judged, yet another verse says we should indeed judge others,” you can then reply by saying something like:
“God’s Word doesn’t contradict itself. One of the words translated ‘judge’ in the Bible means to condemn people to hell. We’re not supposed to do that. That’s solely God’s job, as only He knows for sure whether or not someone deserves to be condemned to hell. But another word translated ‘judge’ in the Bible means to discern good from evil, or right from wrong. As Christians, we’re definitely supposed to do that. Using God’s Word as our foundation, we’re to judge right from wrong, and to reject the wrong. So yes, there’s a form of judgment we’re not supposed to engage in. And there’s a form of judgment we are supposed to engage in.”
Now, you’ve just planted a very enlightening seed of truth with that person. Right?
And if the individual who asked you the question comes back and says, “Show me in the Bible where there’s two different words translated ‘judge’,” then you can offer to do so. In other words, you can make arrangements to meet that person and show them the Biblical proof for what you’ve told them.
But do so gingerly. In other words, when you get together with the individual again, restrain yourself from dumping your entire Biblical knowledge-base on him. Just show the verses that answer the question that was asked, and move along. If the person begins to ask more questions, great — answer each of them to the best of your ability, out of the Bible.
And never worry about the outcome. Don’t worry about whether the seeds you’re planting “take hold” or not. That’s in Father’s hands. Not yours. You do the planting of the seed. He then chooses when to do the watering.
So, if, after answering a person’s Bible question, that person just shrugs his shoulders and doesn’t ask any further questions, then your seed-planting operation on that particular matter, to that particular person, is finished. Don’t push God’s Word on Him, unless he asks you additional Bible-related questions. Leave him alone, in regards to the Bible, anyway.
Pushing God’s Word on people only drives them away from God’s Word, which accomplishes the exact opposite of your intended goal. (And yes, Father will indeed hold it against you if you continue to try to push His Word on people when they’re clearly not interested.)
So the simplest answer is this: You plant a seed when you’re asked. And if you’re not asked, then you don’t push the Bible on anyone, no matter how deeply you might like them to know what it says, and no matter how much you might believe them to be “ready” for what you’ve got to teach. The timing is simply not up to you. It’s solely up to God.
Now, if a person were to make a statement, for example, like, “I don’t understand what the Mark of the Beast is,” then that person has opened up the topic for discussion, and you’re perfectly fine to answer.
You can say something like, “I can show you in the Bible what the Mark of the Best is all about. Would you like me to do so?” And if they say “Yes,” then pull out your Bible and start planting.
But otherwise, if you’re not asked, don’t push.
There are exceptions to every rule, of course.
Once in a long while, when I’m with people I don’t know very well, and I want to determine whether or not they’re open to talking about Bible topics, I’ll use a probing technique I call the “dangle.”
I’m an old fisherman, and this has to do with dangling a worm or lure in front of a school of fish in order to see if any of the fish in that school are hungry enough to bite the hook.
So the “dangle” can be used when you’re around a group of people who you’re not certain have any interest in learning more about God’s Word. And they haven’t asked you anything about God’s Word, either.
Basically, you probe them a tiny bit in order to determine their potential willingness to learn more about God’s Word. You do so by gently “dangling” a bit of Bible info in front of them in order to see whether or not they express interest in it. If they express interest in the information you’ve dangled in front of them, great, that gives you permission to plant a seed or two.
As an example, I might be with some acquaintances who are talking about how crazy politics has been getting lately, and how self-absorbed our political leaders seem to be. So during the course of the conversation I might “dangle” the following tidbit:
“I was reading the Bible the other day, and it said that in the very end days, our political leaders are going to have the minds of little children. From what I’ve seen on the news lately, I can’t help but wonder if that prophesy hasn’t already come to pass.”
Notice that I didn’t get all preachy. I didn’t try come off as a Bible authority. I didn’t quote Scripture. I just said I was reading the Bible recently and saw a certain statement, and wondered whether or not it had come true, based on current events.
In other words, my statement innocuously tied in to the conversation on politics. And I stated it in such a way that the listeners could either choose to react to it, or choose not to react to.
And if my “dangle” was ignored by everyone in the conversation, I just go back to talking about crazy American politics with them. No problem. As a Christian, you simply can’t take it personally when someone doesn’t respond to a religious overture you’ve made. It’s not you they’re rejecting. It’s God’s Word.
But if someone in that group replied to my statement by saying, “Steve, with all of this crazy politics going on, do you really think we might be in the end days?” then that question gives me permission to expound a little bit more on what I’ve just said. In other words, the individual’s question gives me permission to plant a few more seeds, or to dangle some more Bible truth in front of their faces. So, I might respond by saying:
“Yes, I do think we’re in the end days. After all, in Mark 13:28-30, Christ tells us that when we see green shoots sprouting on the fig tree, we’ll know the end is near. The fig tree represents the Biblical nation of Israel, which lay in ruins for some 2,000 years shortly after Christ’s death. But Israel was re-established as a nation in May of 1948. In other words, the green shoots of the fig tree nation of Israel sprouted again in 1948, marking that year as the beginning of the final generation in which all things would be fulfilled and the end would come.”
What I’ve just done is another “dangle.” If the individual who responded to my first “dangle” is truly interested in learning more about God’s Word, he’ll reply to my second “dangle” with something like, “Show me in the Bible where you’re finding this information.”
And that’s my opportunity to grab my Bible and show the person a few verses, i.e., do some real seed-planting.
But if he’s not truly interested, he’ll more than likely reply with something like, “Well, I don’t know. I try not to think about things like that too much,” at which point you know to abandon your seed-planting efforts and steer the conversation back to politics.
Just don’t push God’s Word on people. You’re allowed to lead the sheep to God’s Word. But not to drive them. And certainly not to push them over a cliff with TMI.
Individual Seed-Planting v/s Broadcasting in Public Forums
So far, we’ve covered only individual seed-planting, meaning one-on-one seed-planting.
But there’s also such a thing as broadcasting, which means to cast seeds of truth more broadly, to an entire crowd at once, rather than to a specific individual — this, just as a farmer broadcasts seed by hand over large swatches of farmland, rather than planting each seed individually.
As an example, back in Christ’s time, synagogues set aside a specific time of the day for members of the congregation to step forward and elucidate their thoughts on various Bible topics. And during such times, Christ would often stand up in the synagogue and plant seeds of truth to the whole congregation, just like He did in Luke 4:16-21. And His seed-planting changed hearts and minds.
I bring this up, because we can follow Christ’s example. Groups and forums are another way to plant seeds of truth more broadly than you can when only an individual is involved. What’s more, with a group or forum, you have a little more leeway to teach in-depth than you might have with an individual who’s merely asked you a Bible question.
If you belong, for example, to a church that sets aside time for open Bible discussion among the congregants, that could be a perfect time to broadcast some seeds of truth to fellow Christians.
Or if you belong to an online Bible study group or forum that allows you to post answers to people’s questions, then consider doing so. Every question you see posted to a Bible study forum is fair game for you to answer, which is to say, to plant seeds of truth from the Bible. And the seeds of truth you plant in such a forum can end up reaching hundreds of even thousands of people over time.
So, just because none of your friends or acquaintances are verbally asking you to answer Bible questions, doesn’t mean you can’t plant seeds at all. You can always plant seeds of truth in a Bible study forum, particularly by answering others people’s questions with Biblical documentation.
Support a Good Seed-Planting Ministry
Finally, it’s important to note that for those who might feel shy or even a bit insecure about planting seeds of Bible truth to others, there’s yet another way to fulfill your obligation to God to help spread His Word, and that’s to financially support a good, seed-planting (i.e., a broadcasting) ministry.
When you financially support a good seed-planting ministry, you get “shared credit” from God for every single seed of truth the ministry plants. And that’s because your financial support enabled the ministry to plant those seeds. So the ministry plants the seeds of Bible truth. But you get part of the credit for that seed-planting because your financial support enabled it to happen.
Supporting a good seed-planting ministry makes seed-planting quite a little easier for those who might otherwise feel inadequate about their ability to effectively impart Bible knowledge to others.
When Are the Wrong Times to Plant Seed?
There are wrong times to plant seeds of Biblical truth, as well. Let’s look at a few of them:
For example, you generally don’t plant seeds of truth while on the clock, at work. And why not?
Because any time you take away from the work you’re being paid to do in order to plant seeds of Bible truth, is stealing time from your employer. You’re stealing the time which he’s paying you good money for, to perform other tasks.
Your heavenly Father doesn’t like stealing. And as Christians, He expects us to keep our word to others, contractually. So if you agreed to give your boss eight hours a day of hard work (or however many hours you agreed on), and your boss agreed to pay you $X an hour for that hard work, then that’s what you’re supposed to be doing at work — i.e., working hard for your pay.
You’re not supposed to use “seed planting” as an excuse to get out of work for a couple of hours while you stand over by the water cooler breathlessly explaining the ins-and-outs of a Bible topic to a fellow employee who’s also supposed to be working. That constitutes a double-theft of your employer’s time (and money).
“Well, then” you might ask, “how am I supposed to handle it at work when someone asks me a Bible question?
That’s easy. You simply say, “Joe, I’d love to answer that question for you when we’re not at work. I can show you the answer clearly, right in the Bible. I think you’ll be surprised. Would you like to get together after work for a cup of coffee, and we can take a closer look at your question, at that time?”
You see? You offer to answer the question on your own time, instead of doing so during the time you’re being paid to accomplish important business tasks by your boss. That way, there’s no theft of time involved.
When you plant seeds on your own time, it constitutes a pleasing sacrifice to God. He appreciates you spending small chunks of your own time trying to help others better understand His Word.
But when you plant seeds during the specific time you’re supposed to be working for someone (i.e., your boss), you’re in essence forcing your boss to make the sacrifice with you, whether he wants to, or not.
After all, when you use his time to plant seeds, instead of your own private time, your boss loses the productivity he’d have gained from you if you’d have been working like you were supposed to. Yet he still has to pay you for that time, even though you robbed him of it.
Rest assured, God doesn’t like that. It’s stealing, pure and simple. And worse yet, in such a case, God’s Word is actually being used to justify the theft. Not good.
Now, someone might reason, “But Steve, doesn’t the Bible tell us to ‘be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear’? (I Peter 3:15)
And I’d answer: Yes, it clearly does. But do it after work. No verse in the Bible says to drop everything you’re doing and service someone, on the spot, just because they asked you a Bible question. You can always say, “I’m available later this evening, if you’d like me to go over that in the Bible with you.”
Again, Father doesn’t want us to use “seed planting” as an excuse to hang out at the water cooler, at work, and jack our jaws about God all afternoon. That’s just not what you’re at work to accomplish. It’s not what you’re being paid for. So, when at work, concentrate on your work. Period.
Sheep Stealing Is Not “Seed Planting”
Another quick example:
I’ve known some Christians who brag about going into local churches and disrupting the teaching when they hear the pastor teach something they disagree with, such as Easter, or the rapture theory.
They claim this is a great time to plant seeds of truth, because you can reach and teach an entire congregation at once, in a dramatic fashion.
But this, too, is wrong. Very wrong. Not to mention immature.
Just as you don’t go into a restaurant and crap on the carpet because you didn’t like the food on their menu, so you don’t go into someone else’s church and throw a hissy fit (under the guise of “seed planting”) just because you don’t like what they teach.
No matter how many mental hoops you have to jump through in order to justify interrupting a sermon in someone else’s church, it’s always wrong, unless God Himself sent you with very explicit instructions to do what you’re doing.
Why? Because, if you think about it, you’re actually trying to steal sheep from that church. You’re trying to draw the church’s congregants away from their pastor, to yourself.
And just as stealing physical sheep is certainly wrong, so is skulking into someone else’s church and trying to steal spiritual sheep from them under the guise of planting seeds of truth.
God’s Word says Christians should do all things in an orderly fashion (II Thessalonians 3:7-11). But disrupting a church service so you can make your own voice heard over the pastor’s isn’t “orderly.” It’s disorderly.
And using “seed planting” as an excuse to disrupt an entire congregation during worship service is not going to score you any Brownie points with your heavenly Father, either. Quite the opposite.
One More Quick Example
Those are just two examples of when it’s the wrong time to plant seeds. There are many others we could discuss.
But as a final example, I’ll suffice it to say that, if you feel the need to steer the conversation around to the Bible every time you get around a certain person, because you feel that person “needs” your great wisdom, you’re probably doing it more for yourself than for that person.
You’re trying to push God’s Word on them. And no matter how correct you might be about what you want to teach them, your over-eagerness is inevitably going to be met with push-back, because no one likes to be badgered. No one likes any form of religion pushed on them.
Father didn’t badger you into coming to His Word. Christ didn’t badger any of the apostles into following Him. The apostles didn’t badger people into following them, or into believing as they believed. So you shouldn’t badger anyone else into believing like you do, either.
As Christians, we don’t drive people to embrace God’s Word. We gently lead people to do so.
If someone asks you about the Bible, plant a seed, gently. Then allow the individual to do one of three things, i.e., accept it, deny it or ignore it. It’s strictly up to them, and to our heavenly Father. But it’s definitely not up to you, or me. Again, we only plant the seeds. Father then decides when to water the seeds of truth we’ve planted on His behalf.
In this manner, we actually end up helping Father sort out who’s truly interested in His Word, and who’s not.
Seed Planting Consequences
I’m 65 years old now. So I’ve been seed-planting for a long time. And one thing I can tell you is that if you’re expecting your seed-planting efforts to be one joyous affair after another, then you’re going to be sorely disappointed, fairly quickly.
As an example, I once lost a very good hair stylist because I planted a seed of truth with her that ultimately offended her more than it edified her.
You see, I have very thin, blonde hair. Plus, I’m balding in the front. This makes it difficult for me to find a hair stylist who can make me look halfway decent at this age with what little hair is left on the sides and back of my head.
But I finally found a good hair stylist. Every haircut she gave me was perfect. I was thrilled. So I got my hair cut every few weeks from this talented young lady. I became a “regular.”
Then, one year, just before Easter, as she was cutting my hair she asked me, “Are you and your wife ready for Easter?” And I, seeing this as a possible chance to do some seed-planting, decided to do a “dangle.” I replied, “No. My wife and I don’t do Easter. We do the Passover, like God’s Word says to do.”
So far, so good, right? Nothing wrong with that. She asked a simple question that tied in to the Bible. I planted a small (but startling) seed of truth. And now it’s time for me to shut up and wait to see if she asks for more.
And she did. She asked the proverbial $64,000 question: “Why don’t you and your wife believe in celebrating Easter?”
And I answered by saying that the only place in the Bible in which the word “Easter” is used is in Acts 12:4. I then explained that this word translated “Easter” is actually mistranslated from the Greek word pascha, which means the Hebrew Passover. I briefly explained that Easter was never celebrated by Christ, nor was it celebrated by any of the apostles or disciples. And I further stated that the high, holy day of Christianity has always been, and will always be, the Passover. Christ is our Passover Lamb, not our Easter Bunny.
Once again, she could have simply said “Hmm,” and shrugged her shoulders and changed the topic. And I’d have gone along with that, and started talking about something else.
But instead, she responded to my succinct answer with genuine enthusiasm and curiosity, saying that she’d never heard anything like that before, and that she’d like to learn more. She even asked me if I had any way of documenting this information for her, Biblically, so she could look further into it.
Everything was moving along fine, just the way it should. Right? Boy, I sure thought so.
So I told her, “Yes, I have a short, printed Bible study about Easter, which explains why the Passover is the correct high holy day of Christianity, with documentation straight from the Bible. Would you like me to bring you a copy?”
She enthusiastically said yes. And I was ecstatic, because there’s nothing I enjoy more than helping others come to the truth of God’s Word.
So the very next day I printed out a copy of my “Easter” study, and drove over to the hair stylist’s office before her work time started, walked in and handed it to her. Once more, she was very happy, and even said, “I’ll see you in a few weeks when you come in for your next hair cut. We can discuss it, then.”
But…two weeks later when I arrived a few minutes early to get my scheduled haircut, I saw my stylist abandon her stylist’s chair the moment I came in the door, and rush into a small office in the back of the hair stylist building. She looked absolutely horrified that I was there.
I walked slowly up to the counter, wondering what in the world was going on, and told the receptionist that I was there for my scheduled 3:30 pm haircut. The receptionist looked me up in the appointment book, glanced up at me nervously and said, “I’m sorry, Steve. Your appointment has been cancelled by your stylist. It says here that she had to leave early today.”
I replied, “Look, as I walked in I saw her standing right there at her chair. She glanced directly over at me, and got a horrified look on her face, like I was carrying a bloody axe, or something. And I watched her rush into that back office as if something was wrong. She’s still there. And I’d like to talk to her for just a moment to make sure I didn’t do anything to offend her.”
The receptionist then said “Steve, she doesn’t want to talk to you, at all. And she won’t come out of the office until you’re gone.”
So I said, “Is this about that printed Bible study on Easter that I gave her several weeks ago?” And at those words, the receptionist slightly cringed, letting me know that was indeed the case, but that she didn’t feel comfortable talking about it.
The bottom line is that I lost the best hair stylist I’d ever had, because she was so deeply offended by the information in the Bible study I gave her that she pegged me for a some kind of religious heretic or deceiver. I found out later that she’d shown my study to others in her church, and they told her I was trying to rob her of her salvation by taking Easter away from her!
I had “dangled” correctly. I had planted a seed of truth, correctly. I then correctly and patiently waited to see if the person responded to that seed of truth. And when she responded in the affirmative, I offered to give her a short Bible study documenting the truth I’d mentioned.
I did everything right. So what could possibly go wrong?
Empty Church Traditions Are the Problem
Well…what went wrong is that I failed to take the power of church traditions into account.
As Christians, we tend to forget that empty church traditions are often deeply ingrained into people’s consciences or psyches. Very deeply. These church traditions become an integral part of their lives.
So telling a Christian that their favorite church tradition is all wrong, is kind of like telling a mother of a newborn that her baby is the ugliest little creature you’ve ever seen. Such a thing won’t fly. Nor will you be tolerated in that woman’s presence for very long. Right?
Indeed, many Christians believe so deeply in the traditions of their particular church or denomination that they think what they’ve been taught is actually part of God’s Word. And that’s generally because they’ve never truly been taught God’s Word. So they don’t know the difference.
All they’ve ever been taught are the traditions of the particular church they’ve been attending since childhood. So, when they hear God’s Word, properly taught, it sounds like foreign doctrine to them. And quite frankly, because they’ve been mistaught so long, it is foreign to them.
So what could I do? The poor hair stylist was apparently so traumatized to hear that her beloved Easter holiday is unbiblical, that she blamed me for the emotional pain the knowledge I’d imparted was causing her. And she would never again so much as look at me, much less cut my hair. So I had to find a new hair stylist.
I suppose she had become convinced by her Christian friends at church that I was some kind of a religious heretic, and decided that she didn’t want to “catch” any of that awful heresy, from me.
My point being this: Some folks are so eager to plant seeds of truth from God’s Word that they fail to take the potential consequences into account. They plant a seed of truth, and are overjoyed that they’re doing the Lord’s work.
Then, the seed is rejected. And perhaps the individual who planted the seed is rejected, too, by those he was trying to reach with the truth. And at that point the seed-planter thinks he must have done something terribly wrong to have experienced such a bad outcome to his seed-planting efforts.
But no, he’s done nothing wrong, except to expect a positive outcome from every seed-planting experience.
- After all, when the prophets planted seeds of truth, most of them they were completely ignored, and many were ultimately killed for it.
- When Christ planted seeds of truth, He ended up crucified by the very people He so freely and generously taught.
- When the apostles planted seeds of truth, they ultimately ended up getting their heads lopped off, or otherwise put to death.
- Others who planted seeds of truth from God’s Word were publicly castigated, arrested, jailed, whipped, burned, and many other horrific punishments.
But when God’s elect of this final generation plant seeds of truth, they expect every seed they plant to take root and grow, and produce a brand shiny new super-Christian, with a big “SC” printed on his or her chest over a photo of a dove rising with outspread wings into the glorious rays of the sun.
But that’s just not how seed-planting works. God tells us in Ezekiel chapters two and three to plant the seeds of truth that He gives us, “whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet they shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.”
In other words, when the timing is right, we plant the seeds of truth in the minds of men and women. And if the people ignore or reject those seeds of truth we move along. We did our job.
In the heavenly record books, we get an A+ for doing our work for the Lord. And they get an F for ignoring or rejecting it. And ultimately, one day in the future, when our heavenly Father chooses to touch them with His truth, they’ll realize that the seed of truth they heard from you was indeed correct, and will know that a true professor of God’s Word had been among them.
As Christians, our job here on this earth is to plant those seeds of truth. But our job is not to make them grow. God chooses whether or not to make the seeds we’ve planted grow. God does the watering of the seeds of truth we’ve planted, and He does so in His own time-frame.
What’s more, the outcomes of our seed-planting efforts are in His hands, not ours. We’ve fully done our part simply by planting the seeds of truth. The rest is up to Him. As it’s written:
John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Don’t leave Him out of the equation. He’s the Savior, not us. So we plant the seeds, and let Him do the saving in His perfect timing.
So why do we get so bent out of shape when we plant a nice, plump seed of truth into someone’s mind, only to have it rejected?
Sometimes, it’s misplaced ego on our part, I suppose. We fall for the mistaken notion that it’s our job is to save people, when, in reality, our job is only to plant the seeds of truth that the Lord can use to save people should He so choose.
God’s Word Will Not Return Void
Always keep in mind that our heavenly Father says His Word will not return unto Him void (Isaiah 55:11). That means, once His Word goes out, whether through His own mouth or the mouth of one of His servants, it will eventually produce fruit.
It might take a year. It might take ten years. It might take 20 years. But sooner or later that seed of truth you planted will indeed bear fruit.
You just have to trust God for the timing. He’s in charge. I’m still waiting, over a quarter of a century later, for some of the seeds of Bible truth I’ve planted to bear fruit with some folks, while other seeds of truth I’ve planted bore fruit in a matter of hours, days, weeks or months.
I remember once planting a seed of truth with an individual while I was laying on a hospital gurney, being wheeled into surgery. And when I got out of surgery, hours later, that person had accepted Jesus Christ as a direct result of the seed I’d planted. And naturally, that makes the seed-planting all worthwhile, when it happens.
But I know that whenever a Bible “seed” I’ve planted doesn’t seem to have taken hold, it’s because Father chose not to water that seed of truth at this particular time. He has His reasons. His timing is always perfect.
For some people, it might not be until the Millennium that the seed you planted in the back of their minds will be brought to the forefront of their minds and stimulate them to listen up, repent, and be saved. But ultimately, God’s Word will not return void.
So plant those seeds, when Father opens up the opportunity. Just do it gently and with discernment. And don’t worry about the outcome after a seed has been planted. The outcome is up to Father.
Then, simply move along to plant the next seed when Father opens up the opportunity.
To Sum Up…
I stated at the beginning of this Q&A that planting seeds of Bible truth to other folks is more of an art form than a science. And that’s certainly true.
When considering planting a seed, you have to take the time to discern the mood, the emotional atmosphere, and the mental and even spiritual status of the person (or people) you’re talking to, so you see how far you can go with them.
You can do that by probing a bit, as I described earlier. In other words, you can start by “dangling” a provocative Bible-related statement in front of them, to see if they’re at all interested in taking the conversation in that direction.
The best seed-planters will probe first, very delicately. Then, if they get a positive response to their probe (i.e., to the info they’ve “dangled” in front of an individual or group) they’ll go ahead and plant a few nice, juicy seeds of truth along with Biblical documentation. But if they don’t get a positive response, they simply change the subject.
After awhile, you learn to do this smoothly and seamlessly. In other words, if you do it right, the other party won’t even realize you’re checking to see if he or she is open to your seed-planting efforts.
The bottom line is that the best seed-planting is done when a person specifically asks you to answer a Bible question for them. If no one’s asking, it’s more than likely that they just don’t want to know. And God doesn’t want you pushing His Word on them.
But if you’re speaking to a person, or a group, and God puts an unction on you to probe about their possible interest in His Word, you can use the “dangle” technique I described earlier to see if someone you’re talking to is even remotely interested in learning more.
Regards in Christ,
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