7/17/12 Ioni, about 50
To be a follower of Jesus is to be a lifelong learner. I suspect that many of my witnessing conversations end up with me learning more than the people I talk to. So what am I learning? Lots of things: spiritual lessons, like how precious our faith is. How horrible it is to be lost in sin. How glad I am to have the hope of heaven. How much spiritual opposition there is to the gospel. Things one can't simply learn from a book - even the Bible. Things we can only learn by being doers of the word and not hearers only. But there are also practical lessons. Every gospel conversation I initiate helps prepare me that much more for the next one. This morning I asked a woman named Ioni at the park about her spiritual beliefs, and she shared a long, fascinating account of her spiritual journey which, unfortunately, has brought her nowhere near a right relationship with God through faith in Christ. By the time she finished, 45 minutes later, it was too late to share Gospel truths at a level that she hadn't already considered - truths that would take some time to explain. The next time I encounter someone who loves to talk and has an interesting story to listen to, I think I'll be more aware of my limited amount of time to share the Gospel and my need to be more assertive in guiding the conversation toward biblical truths. These might seem like small, insignificant lessons, but they add up. If it takes 99 ineffective conversations like this one with people to prepare me to become the tool God can use in person #100, isn't it worth it? We may have to talk to dozens of strangers in order to be able to able to clearly share the gospel with our loved ones, but oh what a joy when we do! I am committed to being a lifelong learner, and to learning by being a doer of the word and not a hearer only.