“And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.”
II Corinthians 5:18 New Living Translation
Evangelism can be explained simply as ‘one beggar telling another beggar where to get food.’ Of course it’s more than that if you want to get technical about it. It’s a whole genre of theology and we teach it sometimes as if it’s rocket science and must only be undertaken by somebody with a ministerial degree.
In its most elementary form, evangelism is sharing the relationship we have with Jesus with somebody who does not yet know him. It’s a testimonial based on the experience of our own life. And like the ex-blind man in the Bible, our testimony can be as simple as “I used to be blind, but now I see and that Man did it for me!”
There are times when the ‘other beggar’ bothers us. He or she is annoying. They’re living a life style that we detest. Their personality grinds against ours. We have almost nothing in common. They use foul language. They have nasty habits. They don’t live in our neighborhood. They drive a dirty car with junk on their dashboard. Their humor is crude and degrading and they absolutely love stupid reality shows on television.
But Jesus loves them and died for them … anyway!
Sometimes the work that God wants to do supernaturally in someone’s life is preceded by the supernatural work He must do in ours, first. The Apostle Paul talked about this point two verses before our text above. And here’s what he said: “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.” II Corinthians 5:16 New Living Translation
If we only share our story with those just like us, then the Gospel will be ‘good news’ to a precious few. Our evaluation of others must get past the exterior. We must see people as our Lord does. As lost, lonely, frightened, yearning for freedom, candidates for a miraculous ‘make-over.’
This week, as you move through life and the people in it, don’t evaluate based on what you see and hear and experience, but on God’s assessment. He sees bondage, but also freedom. He sees a mess, but also a miracle. He sees deep need, but also meeting that need. He sees heartbreak, but also healing.
Never judge a book by its cover, but by the full story it contains. God is at work in our world in the greatest restoration project ever attempted. He’d like your help!
May there be joy for your journey!