Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pleasant Unbeliever

“…you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem…” (Acts 1:8, NASB).

I ran into Tim, a physician colleague, on the way to the parking lot. We exchanged pleasantries and then he asked me, “Have you ever talked with Margaret?”

I chuckled, “Yes, sometimes she will come by and sit down in my office to chat.”
(Margaret is a colleague who holds a strong opinion on a number of subjects.)

Tim smiled, “She came and sat in my office this week. She saw the book A Case for Christ on my desk and began talking about her own faith, or lack of it. She was very pleasant and not argumentative. She said she reads the Bible regularly, but that she is an “unbeliever.” She uses that word instead of “atheist” because she thinks the word “atheist” suggests hostility to faith. She recognizes the importance of faith in her patients’ lives and has thought deeply about it… but she just doesn’t believe.”

Witnessing to colleagues has always been a thought in the back of my mind, like that trip to the Andes I’m going to take before I die, but rarely a deliberate focus during my work day.

Many of us are willing to travel to some foreign, exotic place and witness for the Lord, but when is the last time you mentioned a word for Christ to one of your unbelieving colleagues? It’s been a long time for me. And yet, I know this is God’s desire. How do I get from here to there?

Perhaps these actions might move me closer:
  1. Pray for that one colleague each day whom I know needs the Lord.
  2. Pray that God will let me speak His word to that colleague this day, if He wills it.
  3. Use faith flags: books on my desk (like my friend above), plaques on my wall, deliberate phrases pointing to my faith---when appropriate and led by His Spirit.
  4. Seek ways to spend time with this colleague in non-business, friendship activities.
  5. Be there to nurture and support him/her through any crisis.
  6. Trust God for all words and all outcomes.

A few steps like these and I bet God will use me to draw that doctor or student closer to His love.

Dear Father,
Please set me on the path toward bearing a faithful witness for you with my colleagues.

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