Several years ago, I remember this Christian woman just about coming across my desk trying to convince me that Jesus was the answer and that I needed to be “saved.”
I didn’t care for her pushy, “in your face” approach to preaching Christianity. Who did she think she was? While I don’t remember being rude to her, I do remember hurrying her out of my office and thinking, “what a nut job!”
She wasn’t the only one who tried to assertively convince me about Jesus. In fact, I can distinctly remember at least two other people prior to her telling me about Christ, but I always had a million reasons for saying no.
And then one day I met Jeremy, a bit of an odd neighbor, who was not really the type of guy I would ever hang out with. I was the crew cut jock and he was, in my eyes, the long haired, “head-banging” hippy type who probably smoked dope and played guitar in his garage.
Well, he did play guitar, but in a Christian band, and while he didn’t have all the answers, he had a lot of them. You see, Jeremy may have had a 101 reasons why he shouldn’t have approached me that day, but he ignored all of them and boldly shared the Gospel message with me. And to be honest, he too was a little bit pushy about it, insistent that Jesus was the answer to all my needs. Up until that day, we were just strange neighbors.
Jeremy, powered by the Holy Spirit, deftly deconstructed enough of my objections to lead me to Christ. He didn’t wait for me to observe his life from a distance for 20 years, hoping my stubborn brain would figure out that it was Christianity that made him different. While it is important for us to live as examples for Christ, again to be honest, I wasn’t really that perceptive, or observant beyond my misguided biased to pick it up.
Reflecting upon this topic brought to mind a film made nearly 20 years ago called, “Schlinder’s List.” While it was a far too realistic, violent and disturbing film which graphically covered the Jewish Holocaust, there was a scene at the end which I believe painted a very sobering and relevant picture of the attitude we Christians should adopt in regard to presenting Christ to the lost, or perhaps more appropriately, how we need to sellout for Jesus.
The scene which I am referring to is where Oskar Schindler, the German businessman who risked much to save Jews, is saying goodbye to his Jewish workers as WWII is coming to an end. He is troubled by the realization that he did not do enough and appears to be gripped by remorse in the thought that he could have sold one more possession to save one more Jew, maybe two. “I could have got more out…,” and “I didn’t do enough” he lamented. He had already daily risked his own life to save many Jews and yet he knew it was now finally over. Why didn’t he give one more ounce, one more gold pin, one more car to save just one more Jew?
Do you think when the high stakes of living are finally in the rear view mirror, we might reflect on our lives, “Why didn’t I risk more? Why was I so busy arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, when I could have given one more ounce of effort to save one more non-believer? Why didn’t I sellout for Jesus and risk it all.
So many opportunities are gone because I was afraid of what people might think and now, here I am, it’s all over. Did I leave everything on the field of battle, did I risk enough, or did I sellout the King for my own personal comfort.”
After all, who cares what the world might say - when we know the truth. Someday it’s all going to end. Even if that person never talks to you again because they were offended, isn’t that better than if they never had a chance at all because you didn’t tell them about Jesus. Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2
In retrospect, I thank God for those pushy, “in your face” Christians who sold out for Jesus and risked it all to tell me the truth.