Wednesday, March 05, 2008

"Take Heed That You Do Not Despise..."

I have the privilege of facilitating the Way of the Master Basic Training Course at my home church. Week three of the course is one of my favorites. We discuss the use of tracts and the students get to take a ton of tracts with them to give out during the week. The students were impressed by the wide variety of tracts and the potential they saw in their use.

We were having a great discussion when one of the students said something that got everyones attention.

"I've been exposed to tracts before. Why is it that Christians make you feel like a fanatic if you wanted to use something like a tract to give to others?"

That hit me like a ton of bricks. She was right. Maybe I'm out of the habit of noticing but I've gotten funny stares from my fellow Christians. I can remember passing out tracts during a youth group visit to a homeless shelter and I remember the strange looks I received. You would have thought I was a crazed madman when I stopped to witness to a young man outside of a movie theater one time.

In Matthew 18:10, Jesus warned us to not belittle another believer:

"Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven."


Anonymous said...

I was raised the daughter of a Baptist minister. I remember taking part in a program called, "Evangelism Explosion" that basically prepared believers to share the gospel and then sent them out door to door. We'd knock - sometimes be turned away - sometimes be allowed entrance - and then the spiel would begin. Every now and then, someone would actually accept our offering; some of them never stepped foot in the church thereafter ... and a few did ... But, mostly we were just considered a nuisance.

Years later, one of my neighbors was living with her boyfriend when he developed lymphoma. We mowed her lawn almost every week, because between work and caring for him, she pretty much had more to deal with than her body and spirit could sustain. One day, she came to me with twenty dollars and offered it with an apology that she couldn't do more. I could see the humiliation in her eyes. I refused it. She insisted. So, I told her about an incident only a couple months before when I had a bad tooth that had to be extracted and no money to take care of it. One of the women I babysat for worked for a dentist who set up payments for me ... and she paid the first hundred for me ... Then, I said to her, "God used someone to provide for my needs, and I believe he expects me to repay him by giving back to someone else who is in need."

She put her money away and went into her house. We continued to mow her lawn. Two weeks later, she came to me and said, "I was so moved by what you said to me, that I decided to go to church and guess what? ..."

The woman accepted Christ; not because of a pamphlet, but because of a witness and testimony to the grace and goodness of our Lord.

I'm not against handing out pamphlets, but I think the scripture verse that says, (In Aikaterine's translated version) "The goodness of God bringeth men to repentence" holds merit.

Ron and Ginny said...

Good post. Thank you.