Several months ago I was at an engagement party for a friend. During the course of the celebration, my husband and I started talking to one of her neighbors – a high school student who was there to help with the festivities. As we conversed, we talked about his family, his school, his sports and a variety of other subjects and yet I left the party feeling like the conversation was incomplete. Despite all we talked about, we had never talked about that which was most important – whether or not he had a relationship with Jesus Christ. I never invited him to church or sought to move beyond the superficial. Instead, I kept the conversation “safe.” I made sure the awkward moments were minimized And by doing so, missed a great opportunity to share the best news anyone could ever hear – the truth of the Gospel.
As I reflect upon that evening, I’m sure it isn’t the only time that I’ve been so focused on my comfort that I forgo what’s best for the other person. I hurry past people every day – because of my agenda, my priorities, and my personal inclinations. In a fast-paced world, it’s difficult to stop and see things in light of eternity – and yet the topic of eternity is exactly what Jesus spent so much time talking about on this Earth. Repeatedly, He shared with us what the Kingdom of God was like – hearkening us to think beyond the momentary in order to focus on the eternal. Too often, the cares and concerns of this life are what get my attention – rather than the eternal destination of another.
I’m tempted to excuse my lack of courage by acknowledging that I’m not a natural evangelist. Whatever passion and talent that God has granted to those who routinely move their conversations past the temporal in order to focus on the spiritual isn’t part of my natural proclivities. But then God is at work to make me a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and His task for me is that I would be making disciples – being a part of others coming to know Him (Mt. 28:16-20). My natural proclivities aren’t really what matter – what matters is the work that God is doing in me to make me more like His Son. His Son’s life was defined by pointing others to Him – and so should mine. At every opportunity.