Whether choosing between danger ahead, and safety behind, God orders his people to go forward. The blogs this week came from the writer’s personal experience.
The old story, probably apocryphal, is told about Augustine. He truly led a dissolute life; searching in every nook and cranny of life for meaning. In despair he turned to Jesus: SUCCESS! One day a former female associate passed him. He didn’t acknowledge her. With feminine pertinacity she accosted him: “Augustine, it is I.” “I know, but it isn’t I,” came the reply.
The story seems apocryphal because Augustine wouldn’t have stopped by denying his former life. He would have encouraged the woman to discover Christ’s forgiveness in repentance and baptism.
That challenges us to turn into a witness what begins as a personal relationship with Christ. The message of Christ should always be forwarded to others, not cocooned inside our own experience. The very changes Jesus makes in us prove a stalwart testimony to those who knew us beforehand. While an example is worth many words, Jesus never simply set an example; he always employed words to substantiate and explain it.
A simple principle should guide our witnessing: the impact it makes on us as we deliver it. If it increases our confidence, and impresses the prospect, maintain it. If it continually falls on wayside soil, without result, sow in another soil.
What is our short or long term goal as a Christian? What kind of disciple do we want to be a year, or five years, from now? Extrapolate into those years what we presently are. Will our present views, relationships and habits lead us forward to the goal, however incrementally; or leave us diverted from it, a failed-witness because we didn’t correct thoughts and behaviors that kept us from the Christ-likeness we wanted to possess but didn’t take time to cultivate in daily life? -End Part III-