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Topic: Fishing (06/07/04)
TITLE: Baited Breath
By Brenda Kern
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Whenever I hear the phrase "with bated breath," I can't resist the mental addition of "Hey, they've got worms in their mouth!" Very punny.
To turn the pun around on itself, how can we make sure we have "BAIT-ed breath?" As we follow in the footsteps of Peter and Andrew, to whom Jesus said, "I will make you fishers of men," how do we manage that? How do we offer something to the "fish," a tidbit they will find intriguing?
Peter and Paul had some experience in being "fishers of men," and they have lots of helpful hints for us.
Paul encouraged this in Colossians 4:5-6: "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." So many Christians are afraid of sharing their faith, because they envision this kind of exchange to require lots of time, studious preparation, and big words, all delivered in thunderous, preacher-like tones. I don't find any indication of that idea in Paul's words, do you?
Make the most of every opportunity, he says. If someone remarks that it was nice of you to let them know that you were undercharged for something, would it be so hard or embarrassing to answer with, "Oh, I'm a Christian, and honesty in dealing with everyone is important to me" or something along those lines?
Another thought: you can only make the most of every opportunity if you are aware that opportunity is knocking! Challenge yourself to stay awake and alert to the tiniest of "openings" you find in your day-to-day dealings with others.
Paul also says in II Timothy 4:2 that we should "be prepared, in season and out of season..." I wonder if that could have anything to do with reading the Bible so intently and so regularly that it saturates our hearts down to the very core? Or maybe preparation also reflects that our communion with the Lord through prayer and worship is so "without ceasing" that talk of Him and His character comes naturally?
Peter echoes the "be prepared" idea in I Peter 3:15: "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have."
Set apart Christ as Lord. Be prepared. Show your hope. Make the most of every opportunity--a handful of "worms" to help us along in our endeavor to have "baited breath."
See you later--time to do some reading of the Word so I can be ready to go fishin'!
June 10, 2004