I was having a conversation with two friends who had decided to go tanning. I didn’t understand why they would want to do this, given some of the health risks. I mean, after all, what does it really matter if they are a little pale? And then one of them said, “You wouldn’t understand.”
Because my complexion is not fair, I wouldn’t understand.
Hmmm…she had a point. While I am not really dark complected, I am not really fair, either. So I couldn’t understand.
But did that disqualify me from expressing concern?
Should it disqualify me from expressing concern?
What do you think?
This is an important conversation, because this same logic applies to what we do with opportunities to share the gospel with others. Have you ever shied away from witnessing to a drug addict or a prostitute or a Muslim, because you felt you couldn’t possibly understand?
I know I have. I have this mindset that the Lord couldn’t possibly use me to witness to someone that is so different than me…who has faced things that I have never faced.
But am I automatically disqualified if I haven’t “been there and done that”?
That is why I have always admired those people who have come to Christ and then been radically and forever changed…saved from addictions and false religions and other very dramatic sins.
I find myself thinking that they can be so much more effective for Jesus than I can. After all, I was raised in a Christian home, married a Christian man, and have spent most of my life knowing the One who saved me. I have changed…oh, my, yes, I have changed from the person I was when I came to Christ, but it has been very gradual…like a gentle, ever-climbing rise on a graph.
Should I even bother trying to witness if I do not have a dramatic testimony?
I think so, and here’s why-
1. It isn’t about me. God draws men to Himself. I am just an instrument in His hands (John 6:44).
2. I am not without resources. God’s Word is a living and powerful tool for this job (Hebrews 4:12).
3. I am called to share the gospel. It is not an option, it is a command (Mark 16:15).
4. And, most importantly, because of love for my fellow man. If I love others, how could I not be compelled to share the amazing and wonderful hope within me (I John 4:7-8)?
And so, yes, I believe God can use me even if I have “not been there and not done that”.
While it is not dramatic by the world’s standards, I can say with absolute confidence that I have been saved from my sins and have been given the peace that passeth understanding while here on earth and a glorious hope for my future! All of this is because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead all of those years ago. We can be reconciled to God because of this!
All we like sheep have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6). There is none righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10). I guess when it comes right down to it, all of us believers can understand what it means to be rescued from a life dedicated to self and sin, to be given renewed hearts, and to be given the promise of heaven. No matter where we came from, this alone should qualify us to share boldly with others.