How much do we push our worldview? 

I’ve struggled with this question.  Some times I have pushed too much, not knowing when to stop, always looking for a way to advance my argument.  The worst is when I am discussing a topic with a person just like me, who tends to push too much also.  Other times I have been guilty of being too passive and not pushing the conversation towards Jesus at all. 

In today’s reading, the Qur’an answers the question of how much to push by saying, “Not too much at all.  Make your message known then leave it with the person.”  Ayah 3 tells Muhammad to speak his message then leave the Meccan idolators to experience life for what it is, good or bad.  Let them chase after their false hopes and maybe they will learn, but don’t force it on them.  (Another indication that conversion by the sword is not Qur’anic Islam.) 

There is good reason we don’t push too much.  What are we saying when we act like the power of our argument is in how persuasive we can be, how well argued or well supported we have made our case?  At times like these, we act like the power is in us and our fine arguments.  We don’t leave any room for the Spirit, and that is where the real power resides, right?

Today’s reading argues that there are even some that if you gave them great miracles like raising them up into the heavens, they would still explain it away as hallucinations (15:14-15).  For example, people like those of the city of Al-Hijr (15:80), for whom this surah is named.  Sadly, we have a sense that is true too in some of the people we know, don’t we?

This is a second reason we have to resist the urge to push too much.  This attitude that conversion depends on us leaves us wide open to discouragement, as was happening to Muhammad (15:97).  We think evangelistic success ultimately depends upon us, so when we do not find the success we desire, well, it must be because of our failures.  We have not been persuasive enough.  We have not answered all the right questions.  We have not tried hard enough, long enough, and in the right ways.  Of course, we want to be skillful in how we share our message, but we must remember the power to change human hearts resides in God alone.       

More tomorrow on this short surah as well.