A Worker Not Ashamed by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

Let’s face it. Sometimes being a bold witness for Christ is kinda hard. No, not kinda. It is. Last month, for example, Dave and I went to a Mexican restaurant. The only available seats were at the bar. Dave sat at the end, and I sat next to him with an empty stool on my other side. When an inebriated man sat beside me, ordered two beers and started slurring questions, I tried to be Christ-like. “Are you a Hillary fan?” he began. “No, but I’m a taco fan,” I answered. Next question: “Are you a Christian?” When I said I was, he yelled excitedly, “Me too!” Trying to high-five me, he almost fell off his barstool. (Dear Lord, all I wanted was a taco.) Whenever Dave and I tried to talk, my bar buddy would interrupt. Rude. But we are called to love rude people too, right?

Last week I wrote that we are called to disciple others. I imagine some of you immediately had heart palpitations at the mere thought of sharing your faith. I get it. I pray for witnessing opportunities, and then Satan reminds me that I’m about to look like a fool. Then I think of the people I personally have prayed for, people who have opted not to give Jesus a chance, and how I ask God to send others into their lives so their words might have an impact. What if others ask the same, and I am that “other” person they have prayed for?

There are hundreds of ways to share Jesus Christ. For starters, we need to pray for opportunities to tell our story: We were lost. We were found. We are saved. Our life has never been the same.

The best way to witness our faith is to live it out (even if it involves drunks at taco stands). Sometimes it’s not about that person at all; it’s how others watch what is going on. In our couples’ Bible study, “Helen” shared that she and her husband went to a boat show the previous weekend. She watched a dirty, homeless lady walk into a coffee shop and stand in line. Helen felt compelled to give her some money (something she admitted she never had done before), approached the woman, handed her the money and followed that with a hug, telling her God loved her. Within the hour as she and her husband were checking in for the show, the ticket-taker stopped her and asked, “Were you the one who just hugged that homeless lady back in the coffee shop? I saw you do that and thought how I never take that risk but need to.”

Someone once said, “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” Start by being a good listener. Everyone has a need or a hurt. Sometimes we physically can offer help, but one thing we definitely can do is offer to pray for them (and then, of course, pray.) The other day I was outside when a middle-aged woman walked by with two dogs, one on a leash and the other in a stroller. I commented on her dogs (a GREAT way to start a conversation, I have found), and she shared that at 4:00 that afternoon, the strollered dog was being put to sleep. This was their “last walk.” I was touched by her story and told her I would pray for her. At 3:57, I began praying. The next day when I ran into her, she told me how much my offer to pray meant to her. It was a start. Dave and I have a friend who eats out a lot, and at every meal, he tells the waiters/waitresses that he is getting ready to pray a blessing on his food and asks if they have any prayer requests. Most of the time he is told no, but occasionally he is given an opportunity to share Christ. I know shy people who leave gospel tracts on shelves in supermarkets, gas stations coffee shops, trick-or-treat bags, Christmas cards, etc. The opportunities are endless. We are told in Scripture that we have a responsibility to share Jesus: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2Timothy 2:15) We all have a “best.” My approach might not be yours, but one thing is for certain: saying or doing nothing is not an option.

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