Some time ago — and I can’t recall where; on what blog or forum — my contention was that we don’t need to judge the eternal predisposition of another person in order to share with them the Story of Jesus.
And it was met with objection. By someone who insisted that we do.
When you sit down and talk to someone that you barely know and the subject of the Dallas Cowboys comes up, don’t you get an impression fairly quickly about whether that person’s for or agin’ ’em — or they don’t give the first care?
Is it any less true if you talk about Jesus?
If the someone you’re talking to responds enthusiastically and positively, has an interest in the subject and enjoys sharing their own faith, don’t you pretty much know that you’ve found a brother or sister in Christ?
And if the someone you’re talking to displays no real knowledge of Jesus or a negative impression of His followers, or no genuine opinion on the subject either way, don’t you kinda deduce that you’ve met someone who doesn’t really know Christ and needs to?
I’m thinking that I don’t have to go into every conversation with a checklist of doctrinal possibilities and interrogate each person I meet before I can love them and share a table with them and have fellowship with them.
Oh, we may not have fellowship in the Lord; that’s up to Him to determine. But we can have fellowship of the Lord in the same way he dined with all kinds of people at all stages of belief.
And it can start so simply.
Just tell the Story.
Ease right into it just as if you knew what you were getting into.
“Would you mind sharing this table with someone who will have to say a prayer of gratitude even over a tray full of McDonald’s?”
“Is it okay if I ride next to you and read my Bible if I promise not to keep it to myself if I find something cool?”
“I am perplexed by this. Do you see here in John 5 where Jesus says we should eat His flesh and drink His blood. What do you make of that?”
“Do they have to put these tables so close together that a person doesn’t even have room to kneel down and say grace?”
“You look like a normal person. If I told you that I believed some guy two thousand years ago is still alive and was the Son of God, would I start looking abnormal to you?”
“This may sound selfish, but when I see a news report like that, I just want to start praying, ‘Come, Lord Jesus.’ You know?”
“You are a really patient person with all us crazy folks at this table, and I’ve just got to tell you that your servant nature reminds me a whole lot of Jesus Christ. Thanks for serving us today.”
Yes, we believers are a little crazy. A little crazy about the One who gave Himself up for us, so we’d be a little crazier not to give ourselves up for Him. Give up a big tip. Give up a little dignity. Give up a bit of our time and love and self-importance.
If we can’t do those things for a chance at telling His Story, what does that say about us?
4 thoughts on “Just Tell The Story”
Keith, do you believe you should be included in those who “just tell the story” or do you believe you are equipped to tell the rest of us HOW to tell the story. And maybe even the version of the story you prefer ?
Laymond, if I understand the intent of your question, it is a “Have you stopped beating your wife?”-type question.
If I answer “I am just one who tells the story,” you are free to say, “Then quit telling us how to tell it and what to tell.”
If I answer “I am equipped to tell the rest of you HOW to tell the story and the version of the story you should prefer,” you are free to say, “And where do you get the authority to do that?”
There is no correct answer to your question as phrased. Clever conundrum, though. I salute you. It was fun sorting it out.
I’ll say this: Everyone tells the Story — any story — the way they see it, read it, experience it — with their own words, nuances and point-of-view.
What I’m doing with this blog is telling folks the way I see it, read it, experience it — with my own words, nuances and point-of-view.
It is a joy to have found you again, and pick up on your fascinating thoughts.
I loved this, among others: “You are a really patient person with all us crazy folks at this table, and I’ve just got to tell you that your servant nature reminds me a whole lot of Jesus Christ. Thanks for serving us today.”
However, a gentle nudge (not just to you and me, but to your readers as well): I hope to God that as you’re complimenting the server, you’re also putting something extra in the tip for his-or-hers handling of you church-crowd people. Usually, restaurant/service industry folks despise no group so much as the ultra-demanding, ultra-tightwad after-church-service Christian crowds.
Our behavior toward the rest of the world also tells a story….
Absolutely! Big tip is a necessity! How else can one display a generous giving heart in such a short time?