Have you tried shutting up?

December 16, 2013 under Unlikely Christian
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Hey there good Christian,

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Got some people in your life far from Christ?

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I know right?  “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”  – Luke 10:2 

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I know you’ve read that before, so you know you have your work cut out for you and since the workers are few, that means you have to work harder right?  Because, “…..how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”Romans 10:14-15 

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So you’re telling them about Jesus, inviting them to church/encouraging them to find a good church home, inviting them to your Community Group/Bible Study/Life Group, giving them Bibles, etc…..

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And you mean to tell me that some of them still aren’t open to it?

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Hmm…..

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Well have you tried shutting up?

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No, the above wasn’t a typo, but before you call me a big meanie and go back to crushing more candy, please hear me out.

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We are called by God to help reach the lost, to be the light etc…..I get it, but we also have to be mindful of the possibility that SOMETIMES our actions, words and persistence could be doing more harm than good, especially if your attempts haven’t been received well.

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Look, I know you’re just doing what you feel like you should be doing as a Christian, but some people won’t see it that way.

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Let me break it down for you.

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You see yourself as a good Christian who’s just trying to save their soul.  They see you as a pushy Christian with an agenda.  #GoAway

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You see yourself as a good Christian who knows how much God has changed your life and you want it so badly for this person as well.  They see you as somebody who just doesn’t know when to stop.  #TheyRankTelemarketersHigherThanYou

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You see yourself as a good Christian who’s just trying to shine your light.  They see you as a three year old with a flashlight.  #DangMyEyes!  And while it’s true that Jesus used blindness to help convert Saul/Paul, you aren’t Jesus.   

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Seriously, some people just aren’t ready, and the more you push it, the more you are widening the gap rather than closing it.  Believe me when I tell you this, because I used to be that guy who wished Christians would just keep all that Jesus stuff to themselves.  You know how many of those Christians that continually beat me over the head with “Jesus talk” actually brought me closer to God?  ZERO.  They made me loathe Christians.

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Sometimes you just have to back off.  Even Jesus told His disciples that, If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave.” – Matthew 10:14

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Does that mean you should give up on these people?

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Umm…..no.

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Just shut up and…..

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Pray for them.  God is the one who changes people anyway.  It’s not your job to save everybody.  I know it might feel like it, especially if they are family, but it’s not.  Give it to God continually and then some more and then some more.  It may take 10, 20, 30 years, heck you might not even be around to see it come to fruition, but keep it up.  I’m the product of at least 15 years of continual prayer.

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Be a sermon instead of preaching one.  Actions speak louder than words so always be walking the walk. 

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And…..

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Love them.  #Verb

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We are not called to personally lead EVERYBODY we know to Christ. 

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This is God’s Orchestra.

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Sometimes He’ll let us get the song started with a beautiful cello solo, other times He might only call on us to strike the triangle a couple of times.  Sometimes we might get a big part – playing throughout the song.  And sometimes, If we’re lucky, He may let us play the final note in the grand finale, but sometimes, the song may not call for our instrument at all.  No matter how much we want to clang our cymbals, it’s just not meant to be.

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I know you want to, I know it feels like you need to, but don’t do it.

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Instead.

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Pray.

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Be a sermon.

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Love.

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And keep your cymbals at the ready, and your eye on The Great Conductor.

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Zero……that I know of

March 10, 2012 under Unlikely Christian
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So………..how many people have you led to Christ?

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Church report cards come out pretty soon and I think I’m in trouble.

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Right now I’m doing well in – Show up every Sunday 101, Fellowship before and/or after service 202, Monetary Giving I & Volunteering II.  I’m passing – Invite Somebody to Church 201 & Volunteer for special events 201 and I’m expecting some extra credit for having the church decal on my car, tweeting things my pastor says, and singing along in worship (not just mouthing, actually singing).  Even with all that, I’m not sure it’s going to help because I’m failing the most important course – Leading others to Christ 101.  And if I don’t pass that, then I won’t earn the coveted jacket that all Christian men like to wear #ItHasElbowPatches. 

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Obviously there are no such things as church report cards, although before I became a Christian, I used to wonder why religious nuts were always trying so hard to convert me.  It seriously felt like they had a quota they were trying to reach or something.  If not for a grade then at the very least, I figured there must be a nice walnut plaque involved.   

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So………..how many people have you led to Christ?

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Me?

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Zero……that I know of.

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It’s true that I’ve never had one of those ‘after school special’ TV moments, where somebody comes to me hurting or with a bagful of junk so we talk for hours and I tell them about God, my faith etc….and it ends with me leading them in a prayer that changes their lives forever.

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And that’s okay.

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I think some Christians would disagree with that statement of it being okay that in my 4 years of being a Christian, I’ve never led somebody through a salvation prayer, but I disagree.

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You know who lovingly led me to Christ?

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Christ did.

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And you know how He chose to do it?

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Through a little bit of this gal, some of this guy, a dash of that guy, a tablespoon of that person etc….

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No one person took my hand and led me to the altar, but many people, in their own different ways, played a part in pointing me there.  I’m convinced God used many so no one person could boast, because bringing me to Christ was the equivalent to 12 eagles on the golf course.  Now I’ve never gotten a single eagle in my life but if I ever do, you know who will know about it?  EVERYBODY I know and ever will know, meet, pass by etc…. 🙂

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Do all the people who are responsible for me being where I am now even know they played a part?   

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Not all of them do.  Several of them are authors that I’ve never met.  At least one, Norman Vincent Peale, passed on 18 years ago.  Others, I never really came right out and told.  And what about those responsible for leading them?  They played a small part in leading me, right?  And what about those responsible for leading the people who led the people who helped lead me?

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I think as Christians we need to be super cognizant of that.  We have opportunities everyday to be way finders for the lost and a light to help them see, but that might not necessarily mean okay, it’s time to break out the “Sinner’s Prayer.”  It may just mean, being there for them, loving them, listening to them, praying with/for them, showing them (actions are strong) etc….    

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And just because we’ve never led somebody directly to Christ doesn’t mean that we haven’t played or aren’t currently playing our part in leading others there.  We might be a small piece in a big puzzle, but every piece is important right?  That’s why you don’t buy puzzles at yard sales.  The truth is, you may be helping more than you’ll ever know, so keep on keeping on.

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God’s conducting this orchestra.  You just keep doing you’re part and He’ll handle the rest. 

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And as kind of a side note, if somebody played a small part in you being where you are today, reach out to them and let them know.

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Especially if it’s me, because I so want this jacket 😉

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