The people in the lunch room are annoyed with you because they want to tell a dirty joke and you’re sitting right there. Your presence makes them uncomfortable and awkward. On another occasion, something happened that upset them. They wanted to scream out or as a minimum, mutter a string of swear words, but you were close by and they tried to hold it in. And then there are times when they keep nothing in and hold nothing back when you are there. Your Christian testimony aggravates them. They poke and jab you with some stinging sarcasm. They may openly laugh at you for not doing this or going there or watching that.
You feel every wise-crack aimed at you. You’re not insensitive to the dislike and disdain they have for you. You feel left-out when naturally a person would want to be accepted and included. But have you thought of this: a Christian who is honouring Christ should feel on the outside and not a part of the group? If the unsaved are completely comfortable talking about their habits, lifestyles and desires around me, then my testimony must be very weak.
Most of the 276 onboard the ship would have been just like the people you mingle with every day – people who had no time or place in their life for Jesus Christ. But at least three men onboard the Mediterranean cruise loved the Lord – Aristarchus, Luke and a gentleman by the name of Paul, the Apostle. These three probably felt the ridicule of the majority onboard. It maybe pure speculation but the probability is high – these three bore the brunt of many not-so-nice jokes.
But then a vicious storm erupted and it continued for days. That’s when it’s nice to have a Christian onboard. Over the howling noise of the violent winds and the crashing of the massive waves, Paul was able to tell the 270+ passengers they would all survive. God had been in touch with him and he was in touch with God.
Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it go.
As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying,
“Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. Therefore, I urge you to take some food. It will give you strength,
for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.”
And when he had said these things, he took bread,
and giving thanks to God in the presence of all
he broke it and began to eat.
Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves.
There was no snickering when Paul gave thanks for the food this time. No wise-cracks or rolling of the eyeballs. No – they were in a storm and this man had a link with God. “Let’s stay close to him.”
The upshot of the story is – they all made it to shore. They all survived.
Is there enough light shining from your life to draw people to you when they are in a crisis? Do they know about your link with God? Do they know that you pray? When they ask about what you did last night, do you ever tell them: “I studied for the exam, slipped out for about an hour to attend a prayer meeting and then came home and studied straight-through to midnight.”
You don’t need to have a big preach. Just be open about your faith. Don’t be secretive about what you do and where you go when you are not with them. If you’re open but not preachy about your connection with God – when they hit a rough spot in their life, they’ll value your prayers. They will be glad they have you onboard.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ,