7/25/12 Jose, about 35
"I have some relatives who are Christians too, but you don't talk to me like they do. You listen to what I have to say, and you're respectful. What you have to say makes a lot of sense. I've never heard it explained that way before." That was part of the response I got from Jose, a man I witnessed to outside a store today. I am of the opinion that if I were to speak with anger (or judgment, condemnation, etc.) people would remember my anger rather than what I actually said. We live in a culture where the most well-quoted Bible verse is "Do not judge, and you will not be judged". Jesus said this to his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount. (Luke 6) He went on to say "Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Do these verses only refer to God's response to us according to how we treat other people? Could they also refer to how those other people will respond to us themselves? The funny thing about Jose was, I had just shared some rather hard truths; I wasn't just "tickling itching ears". Using the law to help people see their need for Jesus may seem judgmental, but it actually has a way of appealing to people's common sense and their God-given conscience. Simply telling people they "need Jesus" without bothering to help them see why implies to them that we are indeed judging them. If we are going to be bold enough to share the Gospel with either strangers or friends, lets share the whole truth, both law and grace. As Christians we aren't simply trying to win friends for ourselves by telling people only what they want to hear; we are trying to win future brothers and sisters for Christ! Let's tell them everything they need to hear, but let's not let the way we say it get in the way.