Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm not an evangelist, but sometimes I play one on TV...

This morning I was reading in 1 Corinthians 9 about the Apostle Paul:
And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.
1 Corinthians 9.14-17
I said to myself, "this man had the gift of evangelism" -- which is not my gift. I mean, I read this passage and I think, "That's not me at all."

On the other hand, if someone comes and asks, then I love talking about these things. And to tell the truth, sometimes I try to create that kind of situation. Some friends were deploring the idea of treating human beings as purely economic units. I had to ask -- what's the basis for saying that's wrong? I mean, I know why I say it's wrong, but why do you say it's wrong?

They didn't have much besides their feelings, and they asked my opinion. I told them that because we are created in God's image, we have infinite worth, so it's profane to treat humans in purely economic terms. That led to other things, like "On what do you base your expectations for your reward in the next life?" It was great.

But compelled? No. And I wasn't exactly preaching. Another time, some years earlier, I got roped into making some sort of presentation about our marriage relationship. Someone asked a very provocative question -- like whether the husband's role resembled God's role or something -- which led to a Bible study in our home. That was also great. I remember after one of our very enjoyable discussions, I said, "Makes me want to be a missionary!"

To which the older teen (who probably wasn't even a teen-ager at that point) said, "You are a missionary!"

But not an evangelist... though I play one at times.

Today, as I think about the apostle Paul and his gifts, and how different they are from mine, it strikes me what a wonderful thing it is that God made us all different, and that he uses us in different ways to expand his kingdom in this world.

posted 8/15

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