Last night, a quick trip to Walmart for baby formula turned into an attempt to help a lady jump her car. I say “attempt” because it didn’t exactly work. I also had no clue what I was doing. I embarrassingly had to admit to the lady needing a jump that I had no idea how to even raise my car hood up (in all fairness, I’ve never had a car that lifted up like this). Luckily, she knew what she was doing. After multiple attempts to try and get her car running I realized she had two children in the car who had to be really cold from sitting there without heat for so long. I offered for them to come sit in my car while we tried to get her car started. They eagerly accepted and instantly began to chat away with me. I asked them questions like, “How old are you?” “Where do you live?” etc. I proceeded to tell the lady that I could take them all home if she would like since her car wasn’t starting, but she explained that her sister-in- law was on her way. This whole time I felt a nudging in my spirit to ask her if she knew Jesus but I quickly let it go. Instead I took that nudging to mean I should ask the children if they went to church anywhere, and to tell them that I go to the church right across from Sonic. Then their ride showed up. A quick goodbye and they were gone. I got in my car feeling pretty good about myself for helping them out and thinking I did all I could to help; until the ride home when I began to realize I really didn’t do all I could to help them.
You see, I went to Bible College, I spent four years learning as much as I could about Jesus in hopes to be in ministry and tell others about Him. I have a Bible degree—I am trained, prepared, passionate. My husband and I are in full-time ministry. It’s our calling. It’s our way of living. Yet, I couldn’t, wouldn’t tell this family about Jesus. Of course I told those precious little girls that I go to a church across from Sonic, but that was easy.
I have been going over this in my head all day.
When did sharing Jesus with others become so hard? Why is it that I can talk about anything else to people but Jesus? You ask me to teach a class or speak to others about Him at church and I can do it. But that’s church. Church is where believers are. Church is where its “safe” and “not offensive” to talk about Jesus. Church is where it’s “normal” to talk about Jesus.
As I played this out in my head I began to recall all the times I have missed out on sharing Jesus with others. I think about the first apartments we lived in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. I never met one single person there and I lived there a whole year. Or the duplex we lived in. I knew my neighbors and their kids. I said hi... smiled… I brought up where we went to church, but I never told them about Jesus. I was too afraid. I didn’t want to “offend” them. I almost felt ashamed to talk about Jesus, as if talking about Him was wrong.
I look at where I am now. I live on a cul-de-sac with neighbors surrounding me. We moved there a couple months ago. I have only met one neighbor, and I haven’t seen or talked to him since the first day we moved in.
How is this normal?
I fear, there are so many others who are experiencing the same thing. We go about living our lives without ever taking notice of the people near us. Sure, we may do a good deed, help someone out, but that’s it. We don’t really talk to them or get to know them. And we definitely don’t tell them about Jesus. What use is my Bible Degree, all my training, the ministry I’m currently in if I’m not sharing Christ with others outside the church?
This month our theme is “Love in Action." I’ve been thinking long and hard about this theme. It’s easy to show people that you care about them or love them simply by doing kind acts. I’m sure the lady I helped was grateful her girls were able to stay warm and that I could be trusted, I know I would have been had I been in her shoes. I’m sure she thought it was a “nice” gesture and a kind act. But, what benefit did I really do her and her family letting her leave that night without even trying to tell her about Jesus?
I have family members that are dear to me who know about Jesus. They’ve heard about Him their whole lives whether they went to church at a young age and quit going or they’ve heard me talk about Jesus. But, they still haven’t accepted Him into their lives for whatever reason. I think about this lady and how it could’ve been one of my family members. I pray every night that God will send someone to my family that knows Him and loves Him and that would share the love of Christ with them.
What if this lady has someone praying the same thing for her?
What if God wanted me to be that person for her?
I learned an important lesson last night. Doing things for people is great. I love it. It’s so easy for me. It seriously excites me when I can help someone in need. But what people need far more than being helped is to know the love of Jesus Christ. There is a whole world of people who haven’t accepted Jesus Christ, and there’s a whole world of Christians who have failed to share Him with them. I am one of them. We are called to do more than just talk about Jesus at church. We are even called to do more than invite people to church. Church in itself won’t save people, only Jesus can. Now don’t get me wrong, church is essential to your daily walk with Christ, but if all we are doing is inviting people to church without inviting them to the One church is about then we are doing it all wrong.
When I think of love in action I think of the ultimate example: God sending His son to die for our sins. For you. For me. And it’s so unfair for us to keep that gift, that precious act of love to ourselves. We don’t deserve it any more than that person who hasn’t accepted Christ into their lives yet. My heart is heavy tonight as I write these words. I’m saddened by my own actions, by my lack of relationship with those around me, by letting one more person walk away without knowing Christ, or giving them the chance to know Him. I’m so tired of being silenced by my own fears, insecurities, and the world’s idea of Christianity being “offensive." Because, the truth is, there’s a whole world of people who desperately need to know they are loved, that someone paid the price for their sins, that they are not alone, and that the Creator of the Universe is seeking after them; longing for His child, His creation to return to Him.
I can do better. I must do better. And, dear one, so must you.