5/17/12 Michael, about 15
"Law to the proud, grace to the humble" is a biblical rule of thumb to use in sharing the Gospel. Like those who think they are healthy and have no need of a doctor, people who are proud of their own self righteousness see no need for the Savior. But my experiences in talking to people on the street has shown that the vast majority of people are convinced of their own goodness, or at least convinced of the validity of their excuses. How do I recognize a humble person when I truly find one? Yesterday I talked to Michael as he waited for his sister to pick him up outside his boxing gym. Michael was one of the small percentage of people I've talked to who told me he thought that because of his sins he will go to hell. In fact, he believes that it is too late to change, so why even try? He said he isn't part of a gang but plans on violent revenge against some local gang members who have been harassing him and his family. He knows this isn't God's way to handle the situation, but he feels there is no alternative, and this is the excuse he uses to justify other sins in his life as well. I tried to help him see that he is rejecting God's commands and counsel, rebelling against God in much the same way as Adam did in the Garden of Eden. For young people in situations like Michael's, Jesus' command to 'turn the other cheek" can seem ridiculous, but there it is. My advice to Michael seemed just as ridiculous to him except for one thing - several other Christians have also talked to him recently about the same thing, and Michael knew it was no coincidence. God was talking to him, and he was starting to listen.