Thursday, May 29, 2008

Be Wise Toward Outsiders

My door bell rang one afternoon. This was nothing new. We live in a busy neighborhood. My house has been compared to “Grand Central Station” with all of the neighborhood kids & my kids going in and out.
My son answered the door and then came and found me.
“Mom, those guys are here.”
“What guys?” I asked.
“You know, those guys who wear dark pants, white shirt & have backpacks.”
Mormon Missionaries.
“Ok, no big deal. Let’s see what they want.” I knew what they wanted.
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:5,6
I thought of this verse as I made my way to our front door. On my porch were 2 very clean cut & well dressed young men. I knew I had a choice, though at the moment I didn’t really consider my choices. I just knew what I was to do.
“Hi, how are you?” I asked. They looked a little taken back, that I was not closing my door on them.
“Uh, fine, thank you. We are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and we would like to share with you some information about Jesus Christ.” His words were very scripted and rehearsed. I listened to them and we talked. Because I had a big family I had an instant connection with one of the boys because he was also from a large family. We enjoyed casual conversation about our families and how fun it can be. But we also discussed salvation. I asked them questions, some they had answers to, some they did not.
I had a choice that day. I could either be very short with them and say, “I am a Christian and I am not interested in what you have to say.” and they shut my door with them on my front porch. Or I could talk with them, with grace, and listen to what they had to say.
I do not agree with the Mormon beliefs for a multitude of reasons. But that does not mean that I should run away from them or be rude to them. When I open my door to them, I am taking every opportunity to show the love of Jesus to them. Even if we disagree, I can still love them with the love of Jesus.
They thanked me over and over for being so kind to them. Then they said this, and it really saddened me; “You are the first Christian to ever be so kind to us.”
Moms, we have a responsibilty to our children to let them see us be wise in the way we act toward outsiders. If they see us slamming the door in someone’s face & talking unkind things about them, they will repeat it. Honestly speaking, I did not want to talk to those guys. I knew that I could not convert them. I really did not have an extra hour in my day to stand on my front porch talking with them. But as a believer, I have learned that God gives me opportunities in front of my children to honor Him. They are watching very closely! They are listening to our conversations and then repeating them to their friends.
It is a sad day when Christians are knows for their rudeness to unbelievers. But we are here, moms! We are in this day. Are we going to raise up more rude & arrogant Christians? We will if we are that way ourselves.
Years ago, I was one to slam the door on the Mormons or Jehovah Witness when they came to my house. I did not want to talk to them. But the Lord changed my heart. He showed me that my sin is no less than wrong theirs. I am no better than they are. I am just as depraved and capable of evil as they are. The difference is that I believe in the saving blood of Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, there is no amount of good works that will get me there. That is how I am different from unbelievers. I am no better than they are.
Please be careful how you act toward others. Whether in the grocery store, at the park, or on your front porch. Show you kids how to be graceful and loving to others. They will copy you. They want to copy you.

Father, Help me today to be aware of opportunities that you give me to show my children how to be wise toward others.

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