I came into the office for a little while on this last day of the year and picked up a magazine. "Facts and Trends" is a publication of Lifeway in Nashville. One of the short articles caught my eye because it listed in order comments non-Christians say about Christians. I often disagree with lists like this, but I found these atatements to be in line with what I have found as I mark my 23rd year as pastor of Dalas Bay. I wonder if any of these statements surprise any of you? The list follows with my comments in quotes.
1. Christians are against more things than they are for. (I've been convicted of this myself and am trying to change.)
2. I would like to develop a friendship with a Christian. (We tend to keep to ourselves and talk about non-believers as if they were aliens. Remember the only diffeerence between thenm and us is forgiveness.)
3. I would like to learn the Bible from a Christian. (I think this means he/she would like to learn from someone who is not a professional, like me.)
4. I don't see much difference in the way Christians live compared to others. (Unfortunately this statement is true more often than not.)
5. I wish I could learn to be a better husband, wife, dad, mom, etc., from a Christian. (When we do live out our faith those who are not believers really do watch and would like to know how we do it.)
6. Some Christians try to act like they have no problems. (When we learn that others can tell when we wear masks. It's best to let others know we have problems too, but we Have Someone who is with us in the dark.)
7. I wish a Christian would take me to his or her church. (People are basically spititual beings, but not all have experienced spiritual places of worship. Those things we do at church are natural to those of us who spend time there. They can be scary to those who are not familiar with our rituals. If someone went with them they would feel less uncomfortable.)
Why don't we all resolve to befriend someone we know who is not a believer. Be real. Don't force anything, but allow the the Spirit of God lead you as you share the love of Christ to them. Have a great New Year!