Thursday, April 26, 2012

Is it Now or Never? - MANN

I recently answered the front door of our home to a friendly looking man and woman. They were very gracious in their greeting and we discussed the lovely warm day, one of the first of the spring season. Within a few minutes they began to talk about faith issues and I listened for a while and then gently said that I had my own faith position and it gave me a great deal of peace in my relationship with God. That obviously didn’t get me safe on the other shore, as I was soon led into a conversation about other theological matters.

The same day, I answered the phone and was instantly captured in an hour long exchange of how the caller does her duty in sharing God’s word. She had called to invite me to volunteer for an organization and then had given a myriad of reasons why volunteerism is good for the kingdom. I didn’t doubt that for a minute, but always thought it was courtesy to ask “Am I interrupting anything, or do you have time to talk?” In my case a good question might have been, “Are you out of your pyjamas yet? It’s 10 o’clock.”

I guess I must be an easy mark because later in the day a man holding a large sign accosted me at the town centre and asked me in a rather ragged loud voice if I believed in Hell, further stating that obviously most people didn’t or they wouldn’t live the way they do.

A few days later I was sitting with a friend at a baby shower who began a long story about why she wouldn’t visit a senior relative because she never knew, ‘just when it would all start,” meaning a friendly quiz about how sound her relationship was with God.

Today I met with a financier who, when we were finished, thanked me for coming and wished me a safe trip home. Before I said goodbye, I asked if he was through for the day. He said, “No, but I wish I were. The next client is always a difficult one, as he always wants to talk about what the Lord is doing for him, rather than using his precious sixty minutes to give me opportunity to answer the questions that he should be paying me to answer.” It was this conversation that caused me to file the blog away I had written for today and posted this one.

It’s no secret that scripture asks us to witness our faith. It’s no surprise that we have lots of opportunity to share our faith with others. There is no question that there are appropriate times when this is a very good idea and definitely widens the circle. However, I wonder if our witness always grows the kingdom.

Donna Mann


Peter Black said...

Hmm, Donna. You highlight the tension between one's acting in obedience to the Lord's general command to His followers to witness to the Gospel (regardless of people's response), and walking in the Spirit and being led in particular instances to engage in witness.
And yes, I'm sure times are when God's kingdom is not served well by sincere but misguided efforts.
Let me suggest: Credible witness to the gospel of grace involves authenticity -- and often that is best seen through relationship; it involves 'life' as well as 'lip.'

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

What a row of experiences, Donna. Sometimes I wonder if people would rather shine the light in our eyes than witness in a quieter non-verbal way. There's probably a right time for each way.

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