This morning my house phone rang, which is unusual so I quickly rose to check the number. I was expecting a call, but not on the house phone and I didn’t recognize the number calling. I answered it and the caller seemed surprised that I picked up. It was a relative that I haven’t seen in a while. We had a nice visit, catching up on what has been going on in her life. She was calling to pass along some helpful family information.
Normally an hour long phone call drains me. But this morning I was able to listen well, to enjoy our talk, and not be in a hurry to get off the phone. Having been raised before smart phones and the internet, talking at length on the phone was a regular occurrence. One that I never enjoyed.
What struck me is that I had the time to sit and visit unexpectedly for over an hour. It was nice. What a shame that my schedule is generally so filled that I’d be anxious to end a conversation with a friend to get back to my to do list.
I remember reading a book that put this in perspective for me. People are important. And I don’t want to miss out on the important for the seemingly urgent. Mary and Martha all over again. Jesus prioritized relationships, especially our relationship with Him, over serving.
May I never be in such a hurry to miss out on an opportunity to share Jesus with another person; I have missed too many of these opportunities already. Time is a love language for some people. Listening certainly is. Do I have enough margin, enough time in my schedule, for those unexpected phone calls, unexpected questions about this hope that I have? Or has busyness become more valuable than people?
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:13-16 ESV)
NIV and KJV say to be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks..
After this week’s presidential election there are seemingly about ½ of our citizens that disagree with my views. I am called to hold Jesus up as LORD and to answer those who ask me why I believe as I do with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience. We did not see this type of response lived out between our two political parties over these last many months. They have given us a very accurate picture of what Jesus is calling us NOT to do.
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:5-6 ESV)
Beloved, be gracious. Walk in God’s wisdom. Love others well by having time for them (especially those who disagree with you and are asking you why you believe what you believe). Listen well to their hearts. Then point them to God’s truth and to our Savior Jesus Christ.
We have no need to defend God. Our job is to testify to what He has done in our lives and to encourage others to place their trust and hope only in Jesus. Don’t miss those unexpected opportunities that God will place in your life this week. Tell them about your hope. Be encouraged. Press on.