This is a truth I need to understand again and again.
From Zack Eswine’s Sensing Jesus:
One of the first signs that we are approaching the borders of attempting omnipotence is this: we believe that another is choosing a course of action because he or she simply isn’t clear on what is right. Therefore, we believe that if we just work hard to explain what is right, then he or she will do the right thing. We think that all will be well if we simply make something plain to someone.
While our first step should always include making sure things have been made clear, most of us know from our own lives that often it is not a lack of clarity that troubles us. Often we already know the right thing to do, and we still choose otherwise. So why do leaders, parents, spouses, and friends often assume that if we just arrange the quotes the right way, or just say the verses enough times or loud enough, that such a change will immediately start to happen?
The Bible simply does not teach us that if we say the right words, right things will follow. Jesus taught us that the self-centered heart is tamed not by human will but by God’s intervention. No one was more plain, reasonable, and clear than Jesus, and they crucified him. Somewhere along the way, those of us gifted with words will receive a painful reminder that it is Jesus and not our explanations that can change a heart. Words aren’t strings, People aren’t puppets. Eloquent speech isn’t magic.
Zack Eswine, Sensing Jesus, Crossway, 2013, pp 104-105.