Stories of us: Mitchell
Hi I’m Mitchell, and I work as an Engineer in Brisbane. Lately I’ve been reflecting on whether I’ve been talking around Jesus when I should have been talking of Jesus.
This is in the context of a particular friend. We have known each other since university. At university we talked more about life and assignments than faith. After leaving university our friendship started to grow.
City Bible Forum ran an Edge event in May this year called: “Fear of the Future”. A thought popped into my head so I randomly invited some people I knew, including this friend. It was a pretty late invitation but he jumped on it.
After the Edge event I gave him a call. We spent an hour, chatting. I was blown away by his honesty. He said the biggest challenge for him was the way the church had acted both presently and historically in ways that were hypocritical and manipulative. He said he saw the benefits of Christianity but didn’t want to be associated with the church. At the end of our long conversation he said to me: “I see what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to decouple Jesus with the church and Christianity”.
I asked him if he wanted to investigate Jesus and read the Bible with me. He said: “Yeah, sounds good”.
Since then, we have met 2 or 3 times. We haven’t opened up the Bible though. We’ve spent the time catching up. One night we had dinner where he processed his breakup with his girlfriend.
I think that’s where this feeling of talking around Jesus rather than talking of Jesus is coming from. We had a great conversation after the Edge but it feels like things have stalled since then. I wondered if I’d done enough. Should I have tried harder to open the Bible with him?
As I’ve been reflecting, I’ve realised that as much as salvation is an urgent thing, it’s also balanced with a sovereign God who works in his own good time to bring people to repentance and faith. So I can relax as far as not every conversation needs to land on Jesus. If I’m not trying to force Jesus into every conversation, then I can enjoy the relationship with my friend a little more. My friend isn’t a project I’m working on. It’s a relationship I’m building. This makes it easier to care for him. It also makes it easier to share Jesus when opportunities do arise.
I haven’t written off my friend in terms of his interest in Christianity. Jesus chased me so I have no reason to give up on my friend! God willing, I’d love to share more of Jesus with him as I be Jesus to him.
I like Mitchell's comment: "My friend isn’t a project I’m working on. It’s a relationship I’m building This makes it easier to care for him. It also makes it easier to share Jesus when opportunities do arise". Its easy to think we should be weaving Jesus and God into every conversation with a "non-Christian", but earning the right to do that, having a genuine relationship with someone is very important. God will also make it very clear when that moment arrives for you Mitchell. Keep praying that you will have the ears to hear when He wants it. Will pray for you.