Saturday, June 6, 2009

Slow Progress From Wimp to Evangelical

Well, I'm working slowly on becoming less of a wimp about sharing my faith in Christ. The title says it all. This post will be just a few witnessing-related thoughts.

Makenna gave me seven tracts a couple weeks ago. A biblical number, really. I took two to the grocery store tonight, determined to return with zero.

I did. Actually, I wish I had brought all seven.

I'm such a wimp. After years and years of being a Christian, I have spent probably less than a half hour total sharing my faith in Christ. Something is wrong with that.

Thousands upon thousands of people die every day. Every one of them goes, as a very nice black man I met said, "either upstairs or downstairs". And there is only one good destination if those people ever want to be joyful and full. The more I realize that, the more bold I become.

Seriously though. I wish I cared more. Satan has made me fall for a whole bunch of lies. I'm starting to see through these lies a little bit.

Lie #1: Shouldn't you get to know people before you witness?
Response: 9/10ths of the witnessing conversations in the Bible are to total strangers. If we're going biblical, we'll be witnessing to strangers. Besides, if you try to do it that way, it will never happen. You get to know someone and don't talk to them right away about Jesus. Three months into the relationship, you don't talk to them about Jesus. Six months, still no Jesus.

Lie #2: Jesus is kind of off-topic right now.
Response: By the world's standards, Jesus is always off-topic! That's the point! He will never be on-topic. What am I waiting for? Someone to ask me about Jesus? That could never happen, and there are thousands of people dying and going to Hell every single day. What's off-topic is the way those people - and us - are living our lives. In contrast to that stark reality. Witnessing is on-topic. Everything else is off-topic.

Lie #3: Isn't witnessing kind of invasive?
Response: Absolutely. Lots of acts of love are very invasive. It's extremely invasive to tie your best friend to a chair so he can't shoot himself, and yet I would do that any time, any day. Shouldn't we be quicker to be invasive if people are shooting themselves in an eternal sense?

Lie #4: That person is on the job, he/she doesn't have time for this.
Response: It doesn't actually take that long to witness. About as long as a friendly conversation does, and people on the job are supposed to have those. Besides, a person's soul is more important than their job!

I met an old man today and gave him a tract. He got sort of a twinkle in his eye and asked what it was about. When I gave him my version of a not-so-eloquently worded bare-bones plan of salvation through Christ, he absolutely lit up! This random old man I had selected to hand a tract gave me a big hug! He told me that he had been a pastor and had started five churches and most of all, absolutely loved Christ.

He was so enthralled that I would be out witnessing, and he gave me some extremely encouraging words. But the best encouragement was just the look in his eye, the absolute love for God and the delight that someone would be telling others about Christ.

I'm just really encouraged and a lot more ready to share my faith. I need to start learning to view witnessing as a joy. I can help Christ in the salvation process! Obviously, I can hardly move an iota in the grand scheme of things, but boy, am I happy to be able to help!

The old man took the tract, and I doubt that he will waste it. The man who took the other tract was a deli worker who seemed very genuinely interested in the information and tucked the tract inside of his white deli coat.

Even though you might not ever read this, thanks, Makenna, for turning my opinions on witnessing on their head.

Thanks to the old man in the grocery store, for all the encouragement. I really needed it.

And thanks, Jesus. I cannot believe what You did for me. Let me be able to share Your joy with others.

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