My shock was apparent.
A coworker asked how I could stay calm through turbulent circumstances. I was honest. “Sometimes life stinks, but my faith in God reminds me I have a better forever. So I'm more focused on what's profitable for my future than wallowing in the present.” It surprised him I'd buy into this "religious stuff." Building up treasures, really? But he did see a difference in me and his friends. Our circumstances looked similar, but our attitudes were not. He wanted peace.
I shared experiences of God's presence in my life. My friend's desire for hard facts challenged me to research the Bible. I shared archeological findings and numerous eyewitness accounts of Christ's death and resurrection. When we discussed prophecies—Jesus' birth predicted years before it happened—he was hooked.
So what shocked me?
A few weeks later we stood talking when a disgruntled co-worker approached us to commiserate. Instead of letting him unwind, my friend informed him he was going to hell if he didn't change. He must repent or spend eternity damned, and he should do it now because no one knows if they have a tomorrow.
Whoa! His insensitive timing and harsh words made me ashamed to be counted with him. His approach turned my stomach as it became a pattern of his newfound faith. He told people they were sinners but, in reality, their sin was no worse than his sin of pride. He’d found a way to spiritually browbeat people.
I was mortified. It reminded me about the story of the demon-possessed girl who followed Paul, screaming, “These men are servants of the most high God.” Paul was annoyed and did not want someone to tarnish his witness. Being likeminded comes from knowing and growing in faith. Paul's story demonstrates imprisonment, salvation, and peace. God is faithful and works all things out for His glory. A good way to share Christ is to build a relationship that radiates your faith.
Let your light shine in a way that others will seek God.
(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com.)
(For more devotions, visit www.christiandevotions.us.)