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The Truth About Pull Tabs

by | Jan 17, 2024 | Prayer, Witnessing

As we were walking along one day, my middle-school aged grandson picked something up off the ground.

“What did you find?” I asked him.

“A pull tab. Our school is collecting them,” he answered. “They make wheelchairs out of them.” I smiled to myself, thinking with amusement that he had bought into the urban legend that wheelchairs could be made out of melted-down aluminum pull tabs from soda cans.

For decades, people have believed this story.  March of Dimes (Canada) decided to redeem the situation to actually facilitate the collection of pull tabs for a good cause. They receive bags full of them, collected by schools and other organizations, and sell them to a recycling centre. The proceeds are used to buy mobility equipment, like wheelchairs, for needy people. That’s the real truth.

“People who aren’t spiritual can’t receive…truths from God’s Spirit…only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. (I Corinthians 2:14 NLT)

Just as my grandson’s perception was limited, so is the understanding of those who rely on human wisdom rather than on wisdom revealed by the Spirit of God.  Anything spiritual doesn’t make sense to unbelievers–they can’t comprehend it.

“People of the world ‘follow their natural instincts because they don’t have God’s Spirit in them.’” (Jude 1:19 NLT)

How do we, who are Christians, go about explaining God’s wonderful good news to those who can’t take it in? 

The process starts with prayer.

“in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
(Jude 1:20 NLT)

“always pray and never give up.” (Luke 18:1 NLT)

“Plow up the hard ground of your hearts.” (Hosea 10:12 NLT)

We must continually pray that the Spirit would illuminate the mind of unbelievers, plowing up the hard ground of their hearts, so that they, too, can be born again and be able to appreciate the wonderful things that God wants to give us.

“When I [Paul] first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.” (I Corinthians 2:1 NLT)

On the contrary, he used “the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths” (I Corinthians 2:13 NLT)  Merely spouting words, when sharing the good news with unbelievers, is like a child believing that wheelchairs can be built from melted-down pull-tabs. Like the child, the unbeliever doesn’t perceive the real truth. He just doesn’t get it.

Preparing in prayer equips us to speak the Spirit’s words, so that unbelievers’ hearts can receive the truth. When we have “the mind of Christ”(I Corinthians 2:16) the words we speak can give birth to spiritual results. Let’s remember to prepare the hearts of our unbelieving friends and family members by praying for them, before we attempt to explain God’s truth to them.

Alice Burnette
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

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