Just Walk Across the Room" by Bill Hybels. It's about "the next era in personal evangelism with a natural, relational approach the follows Jesus' own example". It's an interesting read and one that is challenging me.
In chapter 3 Hybels discusses developing friendships. One point he makes is the observation that a Christian can, after being saved and a member of a church for a time, lose contact with non-Christians; the exact thing that we need to be doing as Christians!
We can become intolerant of non-Christians and avoid them. As I have both Christian and non-Christian friends, I understand how easy it is to sway towards hanging out with Christians only! But that's not what God wants me to only do; He wants the unsaved to know Him!
Below is an excerpt of the book that has really challenged me. Not only in ensuring I stay connected with my non-Christian friends, but also in how I interact. I'm on a Facebook fast until the end of May. I have been considering deleting my account permanently ... until I read the following:
"The aversion [to interact with non-Christians] can become so intense that a Christ-follower has to plumb new depths of dysfunction to deal with it. "Here's what I think I'll do," she says. "I'll set my alarm so that in the morning, I'll get up to Christian music. I'll email my Christian girlfriends all throughout the course of my workday so that I can stay pumped up with Christian thoughts. At break time, coffee time, lunchtime, I'm going to sit by myself and read my Bible.
"Then I will fill up my evenings with family and church activities, and (if I watch television at all) it's only Christian shows for me. I'll go to bed, wake up tomorrow, and start all over with Step One. My life will stay exactly how I want it to be: simple and safe. Spotless and uncluttered. Protected and predictable. Just the way I like it.""
Hybels hits the nail on the head further on - "Simple and safe was not exactly the theme Christ was championing when he warned his followers that being sent out as lambs among wolves was part of the deal. "Spotless and uncluttered" had no place in the task of embracing a dying, broken, weary world with radical forgiveness and actionable love." Ouch!
I don't totally cocoon myself, but I know that I don't embrace the non-Christian as much as I should as a Christ-follower. One way for me to do that is on Facebook while interacting with my family and friends. The idea of deleting my account has taken a new turn. Extra prayer for guidance is now needed. Another way for me to interact is through having lunch with my work colleagues instead of spending 30 minutes alone in the library reading. More prayer is needed here too so that I can obtain a balance. I am the type that needs to hibernate regularly to recharge!
So, how about you? Do you make your world simple, safe, spotless and uncluttered as a Christian?
My aim is to make sure that my life gets complex, risky, messy and cluttered for Christ.