Projection, Witnessing Part IV
"Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more."1
I happen to be an Australian living in America. When I first came here, I had a very heavy Australian accent. I was even told that I spoke wonderful English for a foreigner. These days I like to kid and say that I now speak "HARF and HAFF." However, even after many years my speech (accent) still betrays me. I simply cannot hide the fact that I am from Australia.
Now I don't choose to be nor do I necessarily want to be, but wherever I go, because I am an Australian, I am automatically being a witness for my homeland. That's just the way it is. If I happen to be what is called an okker Australian; that is a loud-mouthed, braggadocio, obnoxious Australian, people won't like me. And, if I'm the only Australian they've ever met, in all probability they will project their negative feelings towards me onto all other Australians and not like them either. That's the way it hapens.
On the other hand, if I'm the only Australian some Americans know and when they meet me and get to know me, they like me, chances are that they will also project their feelings of warmth onto all other Australians and like them too!
It's the same with Christians. As a child of God and a citizen of Heaven I am automatically being a witness for Christ everywhere I go and in everything that I do. No matter how eloquent and articulate I may happen to be in sharing my faith, if people perceive me to be an okker Christian, I will do more to turn them away from Christ rather than draw them to him. On the other hand, I may be a very poor communicator, but if people sense the love of God flowing through me, they will automatically be drawn to the Savior. This is what I believe Jesus was saying when he said we would BE his witnesses.
Imagine if every Christian genuinely wanted God to use them every day to be an effective witness for him, and asked God to help him/her to be as Christ to every life they touched, what an impact we would make on our society and on our world!
I'm reminded of what St Francis of Assisi said: "Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I am available. Please help me to BE as Jesus in some way to every life I touch today, and grant that people will see Jesus in me and, seeing Jesus in me, will be drawn to You. And help me to know what to say and what not to say, and when to say it or not say it. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 2 Corinthians 3:17Ė18 (NIV).
NOTE: To make it extremely easy to witness for Christ, we have printed very attractive and appealing Good News business witness cards. See samples online at http://actscom.com/witness_cards.php.
Try them. Youíll like them. I gave one to my barber, he looked at it, read it, and said, "My grown daughter really needs this," and thanked me for it. Iíve given scores away and have never had anyone not accept it.
Today's message is also adapted from the book, I Hate Witnessing (A Handbook for Effective Christian Communications) by yours truly. See http://tinyurl.com/33kfbk to obtain a copy.