Several years ago, while on a mission trip to Mexico our group attracted a number of local youth to join us by our evening campfire. Although we experienced language differences we were able to engage through music and laughter. Our team guitar player was delighting our new friends with renditions of Elvis Presley classics when, all of a sudden, the son of the local pastor admonished us labeling the secular music inappropriate. Out of respect for our hosts the music ceased. So did the engaging laughter. We tried to play some “Christian” songs but they were unfamiliar to the village youth so one by one our new friends departed.
I understand what the young Mexican believer’s intentions were, in fact, one of Christianity’s attractions to me as a new believer was the difference I observed between my new Christian friends and the rest of the world. But for what difference are people searching? Is it a life of abstinence? Are we trying to impress the rest of the world by the quantity of vices in which we don’t indulge or is there something else, something more?
Paul wrote that it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4) As the Church strives to present the wonderful Gospel to a world that isn’t looking for it, how much influence do testimonies of holy behavior speak to people who are not looking for an impossible standard to live up to but rather are looking for acceptance in spite of their faults or differences? In a world where people are searching hopefully for perfect love while simultaneously doubting that it even exists, it seems to me that unconditional love demonstrated through unusual and intentional kindness will cause the masses to pause and take notice. In my experience, most people do a fair job of self-evaluation. It is apparent that people are in lesser need of character assessment and greater need of amazing grace demonstrated through the kindness of strangers and the mercy of those whom they have hurt.
If you are a follower of Jesus and desire to share the Gospel, bless someone who has injured you and serve someone whom you don’t know.
“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”