The Offense of the Gospel

I was thinking this weekend about how passionately I’ve heard some bloggers (and especially their commenters) discuss children and birth control. Generally polite, these people– myself included— still feel strongly enough about the topic that we’re not afraid to risk offending someone.

But when was the last time I stuck my neck out, risking offending someone, in order to talk about Truth, or speak Hope? Introducing the name of Jesus and his power over sin?

The fact we can even have these discussions (I am thinking specifically of birth control here) is evidence that our conversation is being spent with other Christians. Where are the unbelievers? Where is our risk-taking with them?

Wouldn’t you know, God planted this idea the day a family member would call and challenge me to take that risk at once.

I used to think that rejection of the Gospel– the power of Jesus to save us from everything wrong we’ve done– just came out of ignorance or blindness.

I was convinced that if someone could just grasp the magnitude of what Jesus did, how much God loves him or her, how much He is already involved in our daily life, I thought, surely s/he would welcome this worthy Savior with open arms.

But now that naiveté has been swept sadly away.

Because now I’ve seen, even knowing all this, clearly hearing and recognizing the call of God, one may still choose to reject it: living nakedly in one’s own righteousness; morbidly content in filthy rags.

It seems all that’s left to me is to pray he grows disgusted of them before he runs out of time, as he himself has agreed he is utterly without excuse.

So I got a painful chance to “offend” with the Gospel someone I can’t scare away. And I am still praying about finding the right words for the next opportunity God gives me.

In a sense my faith has been shaken, and that just proves my faith was in the wrong thing. I have too strongly relied on persuasion: words, stories; feeling the right one would *finally* make the difference, seal the deal.

But it’s not about me getting it right. It’s about God and that person. Only those two: the Holy Spirit drawing, and the human spirit responding. The human must want to believe.

And as helpless as that makes me feel, I still have the responsibility to speak out and take risks. I still need to be driven to my knees, believing that in God’s economy faithfulness will somehow make a difference.

God grant me the courage to take up this quest.

This entry was posted in Random.

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