Guest Contributor, Gina Smith, Keepin’ it Real
The other day I saw an advertisement that read, “Become a Christian counselor and bring Christ to those who need Him most!”
Under the add was a picture of a man; he was dirty and dressed in rags. As I stared at the add, the thought came to me: “…to those who need him most??? As if some need Him more than others?”
At times it can seem that there’s an unspoken rule in Christian circles that says we need to go feed the homeless, work in an orphanage in another country, minister to the homosexual community, or reach out to drug addicts, and if we have done that, we have reached out to those who have the biggest needs. We’ve stepped out of our “comfort zone.”
Who needs Him most?
But really…who is more needful? The wealthy man who lives in a mansion and wears the designer suit, or the man who lives on the street and wears rags? The orphan in a foreign country, or the child sleeping in my own home? The devoted family-man who is living for his next pay check, or the substance abuser who is living for his next paycheck?
And who deserves the most recognition in the church? The person who feeds the homeless and shares the gospel, or the person who meets the wealthy man for dinner and shares the gospel? The person who raises support and spends the summer changing diapers in an orphanage, or the mother who spends her days changing diapers in her home? The person who reaches out to the family man at work and offers him “living water,” or the person who reaches out to the drug addict and offers him “living water”…(John 4)?
Is it “comfortable” or “easy” to share the gospel in any of these situations? Is it really ever EASY to share the gospel? Is the homeless man more receptive than the wealthy man? The orphan more receptive than my own child? The family man more receptive than the homosexual? Shouldn’t we be purposefully stepping out of our comfort zone?
Maybe it’s a little simpler than we make it…
What I am finding is this: I wake up and step out. That’s it. It is never easy or comfortable! God prepares hearts. God directs my steps. As I rely on Him, God gives me words to say. God gives assignments for each day. He asks me to meet needs in many different ways. I look to Him and offer Him my day, my comfort, my ease. The mission might be different each day, or it might stay the same for long periods of time. It might mean I go on a “missions” trip to another country, or it might mean I go on a “missions” trip to the mall. One day, I may have a person stop by my house who needs to be pointed to the cross. The next day, I may stop and pray in the grocery store parking lot with one of the cashiers we’ve befriended.
Not too long ago I found myself sitting in a clinic with a precious young friend who is being tested for HIV. This was my assignment for the day. There we sat: I, my husband, and our friend. Sobered by the consequences of sin; surrounded by young people who were all there for the same reason. All of us needful of the same thing. None of us better than another. All of us needful! Needful for Christ in our lives. Needful for a Savior. I didn’t think about that place as being “out of my comfort zone” or as an opportunity for recognition. I just thought, “So THIS was my assignment today…”
If I can sit in that clinic and think that these people are more needful than I am…. If I can sit in my home and think that the person to who I’m serving coffee to is more needful than I am… If I can stand in the grocery store parking lot and think that the cashier is more needful than I am…then I don’t know the truth about myself, and I don’t understand the gospel.
I must view myself as a fallen sinner who has rebelled against a perfect and all-powerful Creator. That is the truth about who I am. That is the truth about all of us.
Because of this truth, we must see our need for the crucified and risen Messiah who came to earth and conquered sin and death. He is our only hope for salvation. That is the bottom line concerning every human soul.
It doesn’t matter what the outside looks like: “polished and acceptable,” or “dirty and unacceptable.” The outside is merely a shell and a symptom of the need that is deep within every heart. We all need forgiveness. We all need a Saviour.
Whether it is at my kitchen table or at the clinic with my friend, it is a privilege to go wherever God wants me to go. I need no recognition; I am not doing anything that special. I am just doing what I have been called to do.
So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ~ Luke 17:10, NIV
Keepin’ it Real,
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