The minister had said that our own pride can keep us from mentioning the Lord to others. He challenged us to be approachable so that friends will want to talk with us about our faith. But he also urged us to grab opportunities to “approach someone you’re not supposed to approach.” Hmm. That sure caused self-examination! As I began to think of possible scenarios, I asked myself what would stop me in each case. And of course, the answers were all about me.
That hesitancy would be bad enough, but since the culture right now is so hostile to Christianity, I can see being even more likely to pull back, extra nervous about what might happen … to me. (Joseph, Joshua, Nehemiah, and Daniel would be ashamed of me!)
And sometimes we just fail to mention our faith when it would be so simple and natural. Like …
One day at the office where I had drop-in space, no one else was in the building except a young man I barely knew. Suddenly, he stood up and shouted, “Aaacccchh! I gotta get outta here. This music is driving me crazy!” (Indeed, it was very boring elevator music.)
Me (sympathizing): I know! I gotta have ’60s rock or Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir!
He (walking over to stand by my desk): I don’t know much about church music. I go to ____ Church, but only for the social aspect. I’m an atheist.
I had not known this. Then he began to mention points of Eastern religions and the New Age that he found intriguing—and preferable to Christianity. What he didn’t know was that I major in those things! So he was surprised that I could chat intelligently about them.
After about 30 minutes—(and he could’ve walked away anytime before that; I was surprised that he kept the chat going)—he said something about there being no evidence for Christianity.
Me: Oh, I’m all about evidence. I love J. Warner Wallace. He’s a cold-case homicide cop, an evidence expert. He writes about the evidence for Christianity.
The young man was intrigued and said he’d like to borrow my book by Wallace. And I brought it the next day.
All I’m saying is … This happened because I honestly/openly/naturally mentioned my music preferences! Sometimes it’s just that simple.
(Well, OK, sometimes introducing God into the conversation doesn’t quite go like you’d hoped, as this post illustrates. = )