Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Stepping out of my comfort zone...

I've mentioned that I am an introvert.
There are very few people that I really enjoy being around and could manage quite nicely if I were to spend most of my time alone. There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely.

It is difficult to function as an active follower of Jesus when you are committed to avoiding people.
I suppose that I could act as a cloistered monk and reach out only by writing and publishing books or posts here at Out of My Hat, but that would be an extremely limited sphere of influence and only a miniscule segment of the population would ever read anything I write.

If I were a better preacher (or at least more popular as a preacher) I might have more opportunities to get out and share Jesus through preaching at churches or church sponsored programs. (I've found that events like preaching, performing, and public speaking are not the same as far as interacting with people, so I am pretty comfortable in those settings.)

However, it seems that the most effective way of sharing God's love and His plan of salvation is through one-on-one personal contact with people. Perhaps, too many Jesus followers (myself included) have left the sharing part to the professional clergy and have glossed over the fact that people we know and care about are destined for an eternity of condemnation if they they do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
We seem to feel comfortable telling people about our favorite restaurants, our favorite sports teams, our latest vacation trips -- we'll talk about all kinds of things without ever having taken a class on how to do that.

But before we will tell people about Jesus, we think we need to take a class.
We don't.
We just need to build relationships with people and talk with them.

On Monday I stopped to introduce myself to a couple in my neighborhood. They moved in several months ago and I noticed several motorcycles in their garage. Although I have been by many times, I never saw anyone out and so I never stopped. As I walked past on Monday, I noticed a man and woman sitting in the garage and stopped to introduce myself.
That's all.
I didn't break out my Bible and start preaching to them about their sin and their need for a Savior.
I didn't ask them what they thought about heaven and hell.
I didn't invite them to church or ask if they attended anywhere.

I found that they moved here from a much larger home with a large workshop and are adapting to the downsize. He had 14 motorcycles (in varying conditions from parts to fully operational) and had sold or given away all but the Harley in the garage and a project bike in the shed. We talked about motorcycles and his kids (three boys, all grown). That was about it.
For now.

I'll be back and we'll talk some more.

It wasn't too bad. I wasn't nervous or uptight in any way. It was just a little unnatural for me.
Again, many of you that know me (or think you know me) may find this difficult to believe. Going out of my way to talk to people isn't easy for me. Even sitting and conversing with people I know has a fairly high level of discomfort.

As a believer and follower of Jesus, I guess it comes down to this:
Does the thought of people going to hell because they don't know Jesus make me more uncomfortable the thought of talking to them and sharing the Good News?

Just some random thoughts for the day...

John <><


Mike said...

"Even sitting and conversing with people I know has a fairly high level of discomfort."

Next time we do lunch let's just sit there and not say anything. I'd be OK with that too. And we could really confuse everyone around us. (If they even noticed.)

Big Sky Heidi said...

Making a connection is not accomplished in a single move.