A work colleague and friend (we’ll call him Matt) and I were having a good conversation before a nice meal on a business trip. Matt tried to call me a few days prior while I was at church. I declined the call and later sent a quick message asking if he was alright (since it was strange that he was calling me on Sunday morning). I also conveyed that I was at church so I couldn’t answer.
We’d not seen each other in a while so it was great to catch up in person. Matt openly states that he is “not religious”; as part of this, he has felt wounded by people who have referred to themselves as Christians who have behaved with rules and/or judgment first as opposed to Christ’s love first.
Matt wears his heart on his sleeve and doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations. He said, “I didn’t know you were religious”. When I asked him what he meant, he mentioned the text message. The door was opened so I shared some of my faith journey and also made it a point to apologize to him for the wounds that he’s felt. I also admitted some of my failures as a Christian and shared that only Jesus was perfect in the way he loved people.
Later that evening I received a disturbing work-related email and I immediately became upset, worried, and even a bit angry. Then it hit me. Here I am being given the opportunity to share the reasons for my faith, yet I so easily went into panic over one email. Where was my faith in that moment?
I felt God convicting me and reminding me what was going on and that this was another example for me to trust Him alone. It opened the door again for me to confess to Matt: This is the kind of thing that I’m prone to worry about, but then my faith reshapes my attitude and pulls me through. My faith didn’t solve the problem, it merely transformed my fear into peace.
We all have a “Matt” in our lives. Don’t stop praying for opportunities to share!
I was inspired to share this story today based on one line from Hebrews 3 verses 15-19 in The Message (MSG) version as the chapter closes out:
They never got there because they never listened, never believed.
The Israelites, even though God had done so much for them, didn’t make it to the promised land based on one simple statement. Never listened, never believed. That was my conviction because even with all the prayer, studying, attending church, and other great stuff, if I don’t listen or believe, what’s it all for? It is a reminder that the world is watching and in difficult situations, will our responses show worry and unbelief, or peace and belief?
Pray for doors to open today to share your faith and the reasons you believe. This is a prayer God is ready to answer.