Dec 11, 2005

Dark Places And Bright Lights

Hitting the local cafe for an early morning cup of coffee is my preferred method of kick-starting another day. Coffee shops are a great way to make new friends and solve the world's problems (the government should check with us before making major decisions.) Five months ago I moved to this little mountain community and didn't know anyone; my coffee breaks have now produced a few friends, and also a few problems.

From the beginning I have made it plain to each of them that I believe in God, and while not perfect, I strive daily to follow where Jesus leads. Rather than irritate them with my attempts to be "preachy" (is this a word! if not, it should be) I just use every opportunity available to let them know God loves them. Alone with them they talk about God, but as a group the subject is usually ignored.
"...Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." ---Matt. 5:16 (ESV)
These coffee jockeys while playfully aggravating one another will use rather coarse language at times, and have no qualms about using God's name improperly; not seeming to care if they offend anyone in hearing distance. While I enjoy their company and consider them friends, it bothers me to no end when they spout their foul language, especially when everyone in the coffee shop can hear them.....and here I am right in the middle of them, and on the surface not a very shinning example of being a Christian. Certainly some in the room cubby-hole all of us into the same rowdy category because of the actions of one or two who turned the air blue for a second.

While bad company corrupts good morals, how can we teach the unsaved without being in their company? People who categorize us as being sinners because we associate with the lost without knowing the situation, are usually the same people who could care less about the lost. Jesus constantly received flak for associating with those unacceptable to the mainstream religion of the day, yet He continued to seek those who were lost and hurting, and didn't let a little criticism change His direction. Our light indeed should burn brightly before a lost world, but those judging us for something they don't understand have no effect on our light, and while our light may be doused in their minds, I believe it will shine brightly before God.

We seldom reach the lost without engaging them in their own territory. If they decided to attend the church services they could catch a glimple of what it means to worship God, but most people who are not Christians don't hang around Christians; so unless you go to them on their grounds, how can you make an impact in their lives?

I'm not advocating that we associate with the lost by following them in sin, but we can by loving them, and being near them, show them a better way to live. Being seen in a crowd associating with sinners (and who of us are not sinners) may seem on the surface as being the wrong place for a Christian, but where else can a Christian be of more service than with those who need Him the most?


jettybetty said...

I think in your case, you need to pull up a chair and drink a couple of cups with them--letting your light shine before them--you never know when God may use you to touch one of their hearts.

LEM'S Politics said...

Right on Brother, looks to me as if you are following in Jesus' footsteps, March on brother I don't believe you are in danger of being tainted by your friends.but they had better watch out they may be sitting next to you in that church pew. God bless

Larry said...

It's difficult at times to keep the pilot light burning, and even tougher to kindle a light that pierces the darkness.

Perhaps if we do enough of the little things right, God will provide the light for our hearts and those we try to influence.

Hoots Musings said...

Keep being salt and light.
I worked for a man who I loved dearly, he has a heart of gold and a mouth like a sailor.

We have to look for good and see into a man's heart. I guarantee you God is honored because you take the time to love some crusty types.

Be real and be you!

Larry said...

I'm sure we all know people who are extra crusty on the outside, but are good inside.

Occasionally we meet some people who claim to be Christian and outwardly are good, but inwardly are extra crusty.

Regardless of what we do we have those who love us and those who hate us. I have come to the conclusion that as long as God knows my heart I could care less what others might think; it's just a simple fact that you can't please everyone all the time!