Category: Witness for Christ

Let’s be clear from the start I consider myself as a classical liberal.  For those of you unclear on that I’m big on the responsibility and the value of the individual, limited government low taxes and states rights.  Or what is often referred to as a conservative.  Does this matter, probably not but I’m big on disclosure so there you go.

Do we really need more coarse language?

Ok so the vitriol that spews forth against the current President from people who dare to call themselves Christian is to me amazing.  Christian leadership needs to criticize, speak out against things you think are wrong, even immoral ie: abortion to your heart’s content, but isn’t it time you remembered that you are commanded to have respect for authority for they are placed in office by God.  Read Romans 12 & 13. The magistrate is there to do 2 things.  Punish evil, condone the good.  For a more in-depth analysis of this concept see “The Truth Project” 
Are their laws and actions being taken by the government that I think as a Christian I have a moral obligation to protest, fight against, and do my best to change?  Of course.  We should stand for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  What you and I should not do is promote hate for people no matter how much we disagree.  You and I have an obligation to reflect the one we call Lord.  If your daring to call yourself by the name of Christ and then saying some of the things I see floating around on Facebook, twitter, and blogs, I have to wonder what you’re trying to show the world.  If your calling yourself a Christian, you are setting yourself up as a witness for Christ.  Are your actions, your language really the way you want people to view Jesus?

Hate the action, not the person.

 Let me be clear, hate is not disagreeing. Hate is not holding the belief that certain actions or lifestyles are wrong.  When my sons were teenagers one of them decided that smoking pot and skipping school was how he would spend his days.  I hated what he was doing, because I love him.  Because I love him, I want what’s best for him.  Not what he wanted to do, and what he thought was best for him.
Likewise if I see someone doing things that aren’t best for them, I hate that too.  Before you go getting all bent jumping on the “judge not lest ye be judged” bandwagon, I’m not judging.  That’s not my place nor do I have the wisdom or the authority.  All I know is what God says.  If you have a problem with that, then it’s for you to deal with, not me.
If your going to call yourself a Christian, especially publicly, we are commanded to love our enemies.  Disagree with the actions, no problem, hate the actions, what you see government or this administration doing all you want.  Oppose it, work to change it.  But please stop spewing the hate of the person, instead of the action.  We, you and I are give direction that we are subject to the authorities God has put over us.

“If your going to preach fire and brimstone you need to do it with tears in your eyes” –  Jim Rohn

What do you think when you see others tearing apart our leaders out of anger, instead of seeking to change things because of love?  What about when it is someone who then claims to be a Christian?
So I’m struggling with re-evaluating my goals and priorities.  I’ve always been one to set a lot of goals.  Big goals little goals, short-term, long-term, you name it I’m a goals kind of guy.  Over the past ten to fifteen years I’ve become pretty good at it.  Now that’s not to say I’ve been great at achieving all of them, and sometimes I’ve gone to redo them at the end of the year and some things that I thought were so important the previous year don’t make my top twenty the next or they evolve, but overall I’ve been pretty good about achieving them, until this past year.

After the first year, which wasn’t bad, I regularly made around six figures .  Not bad for a guy with a high school education. I regularly patted myself on the back. “Look at me” from the clothes, cars, house even relationships, not that any of these are bad in and of themselves.

What really matters?

But now I am wondering if all of this hasn’t been, if not a waste of time, at least a focus on things that don’t bring as much satisfaction as I thought they would.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love what I do for a living, real estate consulting if you must know.  I enjoy it, I’m pretty good at it, and I do feel like what I do is important.  But what is the motivation behind what I’m doing?
The bible says what ever you do, do it as unto the Lord.  So is it because of not doing it as if unto God?  Would I do it different if when I looked at a client, instead of seeing a person, I saw God.  Would I prepare more?  Use different words?  Have a different approach, or priorities.
How do I do my job as if unto The Lord?  To view every person that I work with or for as if I am working for God, because I am, seems almost overwhelming, but I am instructed to be a witness for Christ.
Do you see your self as working for God in the day-to-day actions?  What would you do different if it was God standing in front of you instead of some rude jerk?
Want to make people uncomfortable, even angry? Accuse them of being religious.  Let the subject of religion, faith or belief come up & if there is more than 3 people it’s almost a certainty that one of them will preface their statement with “I’m not religious but…”
Why the fear or worse, anger over being labeled as religious?  Oh I know there are those so busy trying to walk the tight rope of “I’m not religious I’m spiritual” thinking, hoping, maybe even believing that some mamby-pamby amalgamation of oh there is this supreme being and if I try hard enough, not too hard mind you, but hard enough I’ll graduate to the next level.  Or “After all if there is a God he must love us, and he wouldn’t want to send anyone to hell, in fact I’m not even sure there is a hell.”
Having that kind of half-hearted, no real commitment type of feel good belief system is bad enough but that’s not what I am talking about here.

Who are we afraid of offending?

I’m talking about those of us who  ought to know better.  We get more worried about not offending someone then being real about who and Who’s we are.
Now before you think I’m getting all judgmental let me be clear I have fallen into this more than once myself.  But the question is what is it that drives this.
Is it because we are afraid of being labeled a bible thumper?  Maybe becoming an outcast? What?  And why do we shy away from those labels, JesusFreak, Christian, or horrors RELIGIOUS
How do we stand face to face with a God who embraced humanity, subjected himself to the shame and humiliation of being put to death on a cross, for our sakes not for his own.  Wanting nothing more than to give us a way to be able to embrace and have a real relationship with him, and we blanch at, even become defensive about, being called his.
Have we all become like the church of Laodicea in Revelations 3:14-22 no longer passionate for God.  More worried about what others might think of us, of me.  What does it really mean to be a Christian?
Maybe it’s time to be a certifiable religious nut.
Maybe it’s time to be a Jesus Freak.
Are you more concerned with what label someone else puts on you then what name Christ will call you?
Lately I’ve been contemplating what is the price that I would be willing to pay to show someone Christ.  Now I know you or I can’t really save anyone else, only Jesus can do that.  What I’m talking about is making the effort, putting in the energy to show another person who God is.

What does it really take?

What price in blood, sweat, or tears in order to help see one person find God?  I know that the first response is to say whatever it takes, but I don’t think I could say that with all honesty.  In fact I’m not sure what I would do?  What length or what effort would/should I would put in?  Would I give up my job, my money, my home?  What about just a couple of hours, a week, what if it took a year?
I don’t know maybe you don’t struggle with the question.  But I keep getting hit with it.  Have you ever stopped to consider what Hell will be like?  Have you looked at your friend, neighbor, maybe even relative who you know if they died tonight would be going there, and asked what price would I pay to see them saved?  Have you ever thought through that process?

What price would you be willing to pay to save a friend from Hell?

What if it was only a chance, no guarantee, just say a 50/50 chance?  What would you risk?  Would you risk your car, your home, your career?  What about their friendship?  I have to be bluntly honest.  There have been times when I haven’t even been willing to pay the price of losing an hour, or risking my pride.  Afraid of being ridiculed I have kept my mouth shut on more than one occasion.  Yet I claim to love and believe in a God that took on human form, and not only risked ridicule but payed the ultimate price.  Not just loss of a job, but real pain, suffering, a beating that would have killed most men.  Finally death.
Pretty wimpy of me to be afraid of MAYBE a little ridicule.
What about you what are you willing to do to see another soul saved?

So a couple of weeks ago my pastor was preaching about God’s forgiveness and mercy to man.  And trying to explain it he used the following example:

Picture God as a judge, one day they bring into his court a man accused of speeding.  Only the man standing before the judge is also his son.  The judge listens to the testimony of those involved, considers the evidence and because he is a just judge he is left with no choice but to declare his verdict. Guilty.
And then the judge rises, he takes off his robe, steps down from the bench and goes to his son.  He pulls out his check book and pays the fine.  Now forget for right now the whole “the wages of sin is death” argument vs. some little fine that’s not the point of this.
A buddy of mine, sitting not ten feet away hearing this says to me the other day “this really bothered me.  I feel like he’s saying just asking for forgiveness makes everything ok, like God is going to step in and make it all go away”.   After a little probing it came out that this friend had a cousin that had created a bit of trouble with the law and their Grandfather being what some would consider wealthy and having some connections in the community was able to grease  the wheels as it were & made it go away.  So based on this past experience he takes this to mean that our pastor is saying that if your a Christian there are no consequences to your actions.( we can talk about that in the comments section, because that is not what I think the Pastor was saying)

Too much inside baseball

But here is where I’m going with this(talk about burying the lead).  So often we, yes me included, say things that because of our background, history, education, and prejudices, seem so clear.  We use terms, language metaphor that makes so much sense to us, but is like speaking Latin to the person we are talking to.  Worse we sometimes can use language that not only doesn’t make sense to the person we are talking to but even pushes someone away that we are trying so hard to pull close.
Jim Rohn would use a great example of poor communication:
  1. What if what you meant to say was ” what’s bothering you”. And instead you said “What’s wrong with you” think that might bring a different response?
  2. Or how about ” we need to spend more time in the Word”. How small would you have to be?

Sometimes we don’t know who may be listening or what in their background may cause them to put the emphasis on the wrong sylable.  Sure I get it we can’t make our speech perfect for everyone all the time, but we owe it to our families, friends, and especially our God to do our best to communicate to the best of our abilities.

Wouldn’t it be a horrible thing to find out someone turned their back on the Father all because of something you or I said.  What if it wasn’t even what we were trying to communicate?  What have you said that wasn’t what you meant?  How did you fix it?