One day I was driving home from Jacksonville to Tallahassee – about a 3 hour drive. I was going through a period in my life that was… well, rough. In fact, I had been to Jacksonville to seek some advice from my Brother in Christ Fritz Wilson who was the Disaster Relief Director for the Florida Baptist Convention at the time.
There is a National Forest in the middle of the drive and I would lose cell phone signal for the better part of an hour. I dreaded the idea of being alone with my thoughts during that hour, so I called a Brother in Christ, Mike Whittaker, just to avoid the loneliness. He patiently listened. When I finally ran out of breath, he offered me some scriptural advice.
But he didn’t quote the scripture.
Instead, he quoted me the address of the scripture. What? I pleaded with him to read it to me.
He steadfastly refused.
I learned something from that encounter that I’ll never forget. I was more than curious to know what the scripture he had referenced said – I was ravenous! As I read it, I was very convicted. Mike had ministered to me well.
What if Mike would have just read the scripture to me? After all, aren’t we supposed to proclaim the word of God? I can only speculate, but I’m pretty sure that I would have reacted defensively. I would have felt that he was “preaching” to me in some judgmental or self righteous sense. I would have argued with Mike.
You can argue with a Brother or Sister in Christ – and even win. But it’s hard to argue with scripture – that would be arguing with God!
Are people seeking you out for Christian advice? If not, shouldn’t that burden you?
We are called to “make disciples”. I think that involves more than knowing a few hard hitting biblical talking points and ramming them down people’s throat.
It involves relationships.
Think about it. Have you ever had a salesperson spew out a bunch of facts about their product? I call that product puke! Did it make you feel stupid? Did it make you think of him or her as haughty? Did it help persuade you to buy their product?
So why do we try to “sell” the Gospel – as if it’s some kind of “product”?
If nobody is coming to you for Christian advice – there’s probably a reason
If this is making any sense to you, take some steps.
- Seek the advice of a Brother or Sister in Christ that you know and trust. Don’t have anyone like that? FIX IT! Get yourself to a bible believing church and attend – no, GET INVOLVED in a small group bible study.
- Spend time with God’s word.
- Invest yourself in others. Not to establish yourself as a biblical expert, but to intersect your life with theirs to disciple one another.
That’s what I think. I’m interested in your thoughts. There’s lots of ways to hit me up so let me hear from you.
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