By: Curtis Schofield, Spiritual Insight
From the beginning of my faith walk with Jesus I have always had a desire to share Him with others. But there has always been a part of me that hesitates. Why? Here are some of the reasons.
There are fears in me that my faith sharing will be rejected; or my effort will be inadequate; or that if I get too involved in caring for others that it will cost more than I am willing to give in terms of my time, my compassion, and stewardship. Thankfully the Lord has always brought into my life friends like Harry.
The late Harry Denman, the former business manager at First Methodist Church in Birmingham, Ala., used to tell us young preachers, “We are most effective when we focus on others, their needs and interests, and on Christ and his love for them. We cannot save a drowning child when we are focused on our fear of the water. Only when we focus on what God can do through us are we able to overcome of fear of failure.
A great Christian leader's definition of evangelism can be helpful for you and me at this point. I often read his book where he has written; "Evangelism is one beggar sharing with another beggar where he can find bread."
Luke, the medical doctor, who wrote the Gospel of Luke, has shared with us a wonderful Jesus story.
Jesus and his disciples came through one town. Many people were on the streets. As Jesus walked down the street he became aware of a little man up a tree, trying to see.
Zaccheus was up a tree for two reasons: one he was too short. The other reason was he was not comfortable with people. He had very few friends because he was the area tax collector and he believed the people did not like him. But to his surprise Jesus called him by his name, and asked if he could visit with the unpopular tax man in his home.
Accepting Jesus offer to come to Zaccheus home caused him to see the people in the community in a new way. After Jesus visit he began immediately to see reality.
During Jesus visit Zaccheus decided to change the way he was relating to others. Before when Jesus found him up a tree Zaccheus was focused on getting everything he could from others. Once he experienced the acceptance and the love and care for him and for others, Zaccheus decided to evaluate money and see people in the Jesus way.
Therefore, before Jesus left his hoist that day, Zaccheus committed. "The half of my goods I will give now to the needy. From this day for ward, I will make it a priority in my business and in my personal life to restore to those I have taken advantage of in the past." (See Luke 19:1-10).
Curtis Schofield is a retired minister residing on Sand Mountain. Contact him at (423) 413-5653.