The setting is Jacob meeting Esau. Esau wanted Jacob to travel with him. Jacob would not. Jacob’s reasons:
“And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die” (Genesis 33:13).
Can we “over-drive” our tender ones? Sure, but those who mature spiritual babies realize:
- The young need specific care. The Amplified Bible put it, “the children are tender. . . and need gentle care.”
- Jacob also mentioned having his flocks with their young.
- The health of the tender took precedence over Esau’s desires.
Jacob’s decision was strategic and intentional. He knew the risk of rushing. Injury might befall a tired child. One of the young flock could die. Two factors are presented: (1) Jacob’s concern for the “children.” (2) Future benefit might be lost. Animals that died from being “over-driven” did not multiply.
As was the case with Jacob’s situation, moving new converts too quickly results in loss. Given time to develop, today’s converts become mature, soul-winning, tithe-paying, disciple-making saints. But it does not happen quick.
“Over-driving” converts looks like this:
- Force-feeding meat the “tender one” isn’t ready to receive.
- Expecting lifestyle change without giving foundation for change.
- Requiring the young to keep pace with the mature.
Apply Jacob’s wisdom.
- Behave intentionally and strategically. Don’t over-drive your young.
- Patience! Develop your “tender ones,” and they eventually help care for others.
- Little one awareness! Jacob’s phrase “with me” indicated responsibility. Decisions and behaviors of today determine how your little ones will do tomorrow.
If you are not responsible for the well-being of your tender ones, who is? Take it slow. I have to! It is a slow go with my “tender ones” at springfieldcalvary.church.
More insight on developing disciples is available. At 7 p.m. (CST) on the second Tuesday of each month, I host a Facebook Live webinar at my personal Facebook page. More blog posts on these concepts are at carltoncoonsr.com. I welcome questions and your insight into developing people.