Have you ever gotten in trouble for doing something right? Maybe it’s because you decided not to lie for someone else. Maybe you’d had enough of someone else’s lies and finally told the truth. Maybe you were trying to help someone else out, only to find out you were in over your head. Strangely enough, it’s not that hard to get in trouble for doing something good.
So imagine what it must be like for those who follow the Truth. Standing out in front of abortion clinics, making a stand in public forums, speaking up at town halls and county meetings. As a Christian, your ideals are far higher than what others see as good. Are you able to stand up to the strain?
What I find as I get older is that I am finding it harder to care what others think. In truth, no one really cares what you think, because most people are concerned about their own lives. Most people just want to live life in quiet and in peace. Anything that disturbs both is cause for concern, but if left alone, most people just go on.
Strange then that as Christians, we have an agenda, to introduce others to the gospel, the life-saving gospel. We must both help people understand that they have a serious problem, and tell them about the solution. This is a special kind of evangelism, since it requires both parts to work. If people don’t believe they have a problem, then they won’t be interested in the solution. So you can shake a Bible at them all day and they will not care. You can quote Bible verse to them and they will not listen. You must first introduce the problem. So what is it?
People are looking for purpose. They have pursued pleasure all their lives, and come up empty. Life for many is empty. Life means only pain and suffering, which leads to depression. In this nation, depression, purposelessness, and emptiness is our greatest plague. Why? Because they have no hope. Hope is what drives us and helps us move forward. If there is no hope, no vision, the people perish.
So when we frame the problem in this way, we have an answer. You were created with a purpose. You may not believe in a Creator, but you know hopelessness. You know that your life isn’t fulfilling. And I can tell you how to find purpose again. That gets people’s attention.
When you are stuck in a difficult evangelism situation, remember that Bible verses are not the only tool in our tool box. We ought to practice discernment as well, to discern the nature of someone’s problem, help them explain in words, so that we apply Truth where it’s needed.
Help me Lord today help others see their problems, to identify them so that they will be open to the gospel message. Grant me discernment, wisdom, and direction to find them. Thank you Jesus, Amen.