Thursday, February 25, 2010

So true and I’m guilty…

Over at the Arminian Today blog there’s a great post today entitled “We'll Do Anything To AVOID Evangelism.” The author makes some great points in his article and I confess that I have been guilty far too many times.

For example: a couple of weeks ago I was flying home after speaking at a youth convention about witnessing and while aboard the plane I sat next to a man and woman, while their daughter and son-in-law sat in front of me. I’m not a naturally chatty person and so most of the time when I’m flying a sit quietly and read. About half way through the flight the lady who I was sitting next to moved up a seat and sat next to her daughter. I had noticed that they all seemed to be very sad. I wasn’t trying to be nosy but I could see through the gap between the seats that the daughter opened her laptop and connected via the in-flight wifi to Facebook. She than began to send out messages concerning the death of her brother. He was the police officer from North Georgia who was tragically killed recently when his car became stuck in the mud and then somehow began to roll and pinned him against a tree.

So, there I was sitting right among this grieving family on the airplane. Now I’m feeling odd because I’ve discovered all of this about them without trying to be nosy but just seeing what was going on in front of me and listening to their talking. So now I began to wonder if I should say something to them and introduce myself as a pastor. In my mind I went back and forth…should I say something or would they think I was being nosy and prying into their business…? So I battled back in forth in my mind.

But, instead of just introducing myself and being friendly I sat there quietly. Then I had a bright idea. I was reading a commentary and so I thought that I would try to make it obvious what I was reading and hope that the step-father (who was still sitting a seat over from me) would notice what I was reading.
So there I was. Right in the middle of a great opportunity to be a witness for Christ and I sat there like a coward and didn’t open my mouth.

Finally, he noticed what I was reading – but it was too late. Our plane had landed in Atlanta and as we stood up to leave, as I was putting away my commentary, he noticed what I had been reading and asked me, “Are you a priest or a pastor or something?” I told him I was a pastor. He started to cry and say “I wish I would have known. I wish I would have known!” Then he handed me a clipping of a newspaper story about his stepson, told his wife and children I was a pastor, and told me the had come to Georgia to attend the funeral. I read the article and handed it back and expressed by condolences and assured them I would be praying for them. By this time everyone was getting off of the plane and then they were gone…

I missed a golden opportunity to be a witness because I was too cowardly to open my mouth! As I walked away from the plane I cried out in my heart begging God to forgive me for failing to be a testimony for Him!

So, yes I must confess that I’m guilty (and to think I had just spoken on witnessing!!)…I am so ashamed of myself and embarrassed to even admit all of this. But, hopefully I learned a valuable lesson from it…may God help me to be a better witness for Him and to open my mouth – even when it means getting out of my comfort zone!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing from your heart. I'm guilty here too.