We live in a culture now that whatever you do it seems as though everyone is easily offended. One wrong interpretation of a statement can mean a social media blast or even worse, a stain on the intent of your character. I am amazed at the things people get offended at.
Vaccinating or not vaccinating, Bottle water or using a filter, Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, Vegan or Meat Eater, Home school or Public school, Traditional Worship or Contemporary Worship, Toilet Paper over or under, Essential Oils or Actual Medicine, White or Wheat, When to put the Christmas tree up???…. The list goes on and on…..
As a Missionary, my life requires me to navigate a lot of uncomfortable conversations. Early on in my ministry, I remember being asked to speak at a conference in another state. I boarded the plane, found my window seat, and buckled up. There was a young man that sat down in the seat beside me. As soon as he sat down, he began talking to me. He started telling me a story and then began dropping the F bomb and other inappropriate words. I engaged in the conversation and never said anything about his word choices, I just let him talk.
After take-off, I decided to get my Bible out and read and pray to connect my heart and mind in preparation for where I would be ministering.
Not even two minutes after I got my Bible out, the guy beside me saw it and instantly began apologizing. “I didn’t know you were one of those people!” (Like I was from a special group? 😳) I responded, “One of what people?” He replied, “You know, one of those Christian type people.”
He then preceded to apologize for how he had cussed and the language he used when talking to me earlier. He said, “I wouldn’t have said that if I had known you were that Christian type.”
I graciously replied, “Oh no it’s ok.” He then got a confused look and said, “It didn’t bother you, the words I used?” I replied, “No, not at all. You’re not a Christian and so I don’t expect you to act like one. I mean you’re going to hell anyway so you might as well say what you want.”
Well, apparently this got his attention and he said,”What! What do you mean?” I said, “I know you don’t know Jesus, therefore, you don’t have a reason to talk different or to act different. I don’t expect you to act like you have a relationship with God.
You see I’m a Christian, not because I carry that title, or because I was raised in a Christian home, or because I go to church but because my life has been changed by Jesus.”
For the next hour or so I got an opportunity to share the gospel with this man beside me. He didn’t come to know Jesus that day, but I got an opportunity to pray with him and share the love of Christ.
What I loved about this encounter is that early on in ministry I learned that lost people doesn’t act like saved people. I have never gotten offended because a person acts like a lost person. I never expect people to act, talk, live, or behave like they have had an encounter with a living God, when they simply have not.
How about you? Are you getting offended by those that are bound in darkness and do not portray light?
As a Christian we should be the most unoffendable people in the world. The forgiveness and mercy that we have received freely in Christ should drive us to be that ever forgiving extension to a world blinded by the god of this age.
I mean really – Does it really matter whether your toilet paper faces up or down?
“Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. For the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)