6/1/16 Vicki about 50
How can we change the direction of our everyday conversations into meaningful Gospel conversations that could possibly have eternal impact? In my last post I told about a rather off-the-wall conversation with a man named Sam who was out taking his pet iguana on a bike ride. But what about more serious conversations? I had two recent business dealings with Craig’s List contacts, one while I was buying an item, and one while selling one. Just as with Sam the iguana owner, we don’t need to subtly work our way into a spiritual conversation, we just need to be up front and ask. In my conversation with a Craiglist contact named Vicki who was selling a small fishing boat, of course I didn’t worry about talking about the Gospel at first. She showed me the boat, I asked all about it and made an offer, we haggled over a price, we arranged how I would pick it up, and we followed business with a nice conversation about her and her husband’s boating experiences. No pressure, no need to worry about how to transition into a spiritual conversation, I just waited until our business was done, gained a little advice about boating, and then asked “Say do you mind if I ask an interesting question that has nothing to do with the boat? What do you think happens after this life?” She responded positively, as did a man named Jim in another Craigslist interaction.
Vicki brightened up at my question, telling me about her adult daughter who is an author and conference leader in the ecumenical church movement. Vicki wasn't quite sure about her daughter's belief that all religions are basically the same, yet she felt like they do have much in common, and that though people of different religions may be on different paths, we all end up in heaven in the end. Sounds like a nice theory, until we look at the details between the different religions and see a world of contradiction. In order to accommodate her daughter's beliefs, Vicki has had to explain away many basic Christian beliefs. For example, she has begun to believe that hell is just a temporary part of our life here on earth. But is that what Jesus died for, just to make our life better while we are here? Or is He our Savior for eternity? I told Vicki, "I heard it said recently that for those who trust Christ, this life is the closest they will get to hell, but for those who continue in unbelief, this will be the closest they will get to heaven." It gave her something to think about, and possibly some good questions for her to ask her daughter. There are opportunities to share Gospel truths like this with people all around us, whether in fun or in business, in the streets, the parks or the marketplace. Let's just be bold and faithful enough to ask.