One of the joys of living is enjoying great conversations. Let’s talk about that…
I had a very interesting short conversation this week at work. One of my co-workers who has been there about 6 months came and stood beside me as I was clocking out on Wednesday. This young man is very nice but he does look as though he fell into a tackle box and some tried to knock the lures off with a bat. He has several piercings and tattoos all over his visible body and he cannot go more than a few words without using foul language. He and I have had several small conversations in passing mostly about work but occasionally we will see each other in town and recount our visit. But he said something to me that was at first disheartening, but then reaffirming. As he stood beside me awkwardly and stared at me I turned to see what he wanted. He says “Somebody told me you are a Pastor.” I told him that I was not a pastor but I am a preacher. His next words struck me. “I never would have guessed that.” Balloon deflating, ego deflating, spirit deflating. But then he said, “But it does make sense to me. I never hear you cuss. I’ve never seen you get real mad. And you always treat people very nice.”
As it turns out all he had to go on was the small conversations that we had. In those brief encounters he had seen and heard enough to get the idea that I could be a preacher. That was reassuring and immediately my thoughts went to this verse. Philippians 1:27 says in part, “Only let your conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ:” Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.” Let’s think about how many people that we have short encounters with every day; gas station attendants, check out workers at Walmart, folks beside us in traffic, drive-through workers. In those brief conversations what do they come away with in light of our conversation. Would they have any suspicion that we are a child of God. Or would those brief encounters of only a few seconds or minutes show a conversation that in no way would lead them to believe we are a Christian much less a minister of the Gospel. That’s a pretty sobering thought, isn’t it?
We are not always dressed up in our Sunday best indicating that we are going to or coming from a church service so we should as Paul said, “adorn the doctrine of Christ” with our words and with our kindness (Titus 2:10). We never know what a few choice words can do in the life of a lost person.