... a weekly letter of encouragement.
November 22, 1993
LaBou is a chic coffee shop in my town...The "in" place to grab a cup, chat with friends, or catch up on last night's ball game. Shorts, tank tops, genes, and open shirts are the dress code. People cluster around the room relaxed in easy conversation...Neil Diamond saturates the air.
Amidst this slice of vintage California enviorn enters a guy in a black suit with a huge notebook and a "Holy Bible" tucked under his arm. His gait is stiff and hurried.
I couldn't help but think, "Hmm, Joe Formality on a mission to save the world." If I hadn't seen the "Holy Bible", I would have concluded this transplant was either an undertaker, a newly arrived Mafia type from New Jersey, or a pall bearer imbibing a cup after a tough day at the cemetery. In reality, he is probably a sincere believer on a mission to help someone.
Question: Just how far does a person go in identifying with the lost. What does it mean to be in the world, but not of the world? Paul said, "I am all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." ( I Corinthians 9:22)
In other words, Paul was willing to enter their comfort zone, rather than force them into his. If we are persecuted, I sometimes wonder if it is for being truly righteous, or for simply being strange?
Is it possible for a follower of Christ to be fun, casual, relevant, contemporary, knowledgeable, and...Christ like? We know that people from every station in life flocked to be around Jesus. Somehow He was righteous without being religious, and people found themselves irresitibly attracted to Him.
On the question of identifying with the lost, perhaps the place to begin is with unconditional love. Paul tells us, "Love looks for a way of being constructive." (I Corinthians 13: 4 Phillips).
In other words, love does not censor non-Christians for acting as non-Christians. The only issue I need to address with the lost is not their dress code or social patterns, but simply their rebellion in ruling Christ out of the center of their lives.
Putting as few barriers between myself and the lost will facilitate the communication process of getting Christ's message of love to them in terms they can understand and respond to.
Have a great week!
© Copyright 1996 Dwight Hill. Unlimited permission to copy or use is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Back to Antioch's Well
Back to Antioch's Home Page