Tuesday, April 13, 2010

leaving for the jungle

What is it about believers that draws those the Lord is trying to reach, to them?

I would answer that question that it is Christ in them. I think most of us would.

How do unbelievers respond when they see us demonstrating a prideful attitude in our Christianity?


Is it okay to be confident in one's relationship with Christ? Absolutely.

What is the price if that confidence is manifested in inappropriate public circumstances?

Last night, Deanna and I sat waiting our turn at our tax man's office (I would rather have been at the dentist... do you remember that I hate the dentist?). He was behind schedule. I was annoyed.

While we sat waiting, a man walked in talking on his blue tooth (wireless, hands free, phone device). He was talking, way too loud. He commanded the attention of all in the waiting areas (it's a large office situation).

I confess I have been "that guy."

No, not the guy talking loudly on a blue tooth. His victim. The guy who was in a bathroom stall and heard someone adjacent talk. As I prepared to answer... albeit awkwardly... he spoke again, revealing that he was on his phone.

On more than one occasion, I have nearly responded to one who wasn't talking to me, but were speaking at an unacceptable volume for the setting. I haven't sought to respond to be rude, but because I thought they were talking to me... only to have them turn their head and reveal the little device in their ear.

Inwardly embarrassed, I grabbed a hold of the words that began to part my lips.

This was not one of those situations.

This was bawdy rudeness. The problem was, the gentleman in this case seemed to thrive on the fact that he was having a highly personal and controversial discussion with another, in a way that drew the attention and ire of most. He actually seemed energized by the glares.

It was evident he was a believer. It was equally evident he seemed to be embracing the Scripture "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" and forcing it to apply where it wasn't appropriate.

He carried on while he bashed fallen pastors, demonized denominations, and espoused what he perceived to be this individuals problem, for all to hear.

I was already dealing with my flesh in the annoyance over it being an hour past our appointment time, and still we sat. My insides were gnawing over my fear of having to pay out what we did not have. I knew if I rose to request he remove himself or talk more softly, that I would have been... less than grace.

In my frustration, I did nothing.

The level of disgust of those around me, compels me even now, that I should have approached the brother and tried to intervene.

I didn't.

Many frustrated lost people probably walked away from that situation with further evidence of why they did not want what they saw he apparently had.

This was not church. He was not behind a pulpit. Had he been, part of what he said would still have been inappropriate.

For those who fear sharing Christ in the first place, because of possible rejection, this would have sounded the trumpet for further retreat within their hearts.

As believers, we must be sensitive to our audience and to the topics at hand. We must read body language and discern reactions and be sensitive to the Lord's moving. This was a conversation that would only have been appropriate behind closed doors... in seclusion.

What unbelievers are drawn to, is Christ in us.

When we allow who we are to overpower Him within us, we trample on our witness, and do damage to our ability to speak into the lives of others.

Who would be willing to share with someone who seems to bark out the inner struggles they have just shared, to all who would listen?

As I pondered a possible move, the secretary, allowed a self proclaimed, "walk-in" (no appointment scheduled) to go in before us. We had been there an hour and twenty minutes. He was elderly, walked with difficulty, and had been a customer for twenty-five years.

I tried to let it go.

I was receiving a lesson in grace when I felt the least of it (I am probably supposed to learn it better that way, but I don't seem to like it much).

Ultimately, we got out of there with promised refunds.

The reprieve seemed unimportant against a backdrop of the hideous display we had experienced.

One cannot do retroactive damage control in a roomful of people you don't know and may never see again.

I have to be better prepared to speak out in love, should it happen again.

I need to be more grace... like my Savior!



At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Chelsea said...

I look forward to hearing you preach at Calvary Lindsay. I just finished reading BJ's book for the third time. I've learned so much just from reading it thse three times. I learn something new every time I read it.


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