Friday, January 28, 2011
YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE!
About 2 or 3 years ago (??) I had a friend share an analogy with me about sharing God's Word. She set the whole thing up so well and it really had an impact on me. I'm sure it's probably more popular than what I realized at the time, but it was the first time I'd ever heard it. I was not doing much about sharing the Truth with others, and when she shared the analogy with me, I was convicted that I really must be all about sharing the Truth; the Lord has been helping me ever since.
The analogy goes something like this:
Let's say there's a house that's on fire and you KNOW there is someone in there that is in great danger of dying. Maybe this person is a really hard sleeper. You rush in and do all you can to wake that person up ... because ... if you don't, they will surely die. You are even willing to die trying, or get hurt, or be inconvenienced, etc. So, you do ALL YOU CAN to get this person to WAKE UP and GET OUT of that burning house before it's too late.
This is how we should be with sharing the Truth. There are "houses burning" EVERYWHERE ... ALL AROUND US ... EVERY DAY. What are we going to do about? You just never know when someone will take their last breath. And of course when they do, we cannot help but wonder (well, I cannot help but wonder), "Did I really do all I could?" We will have to stand before a mighty Judge some day and give an account.
Over the last few years, I've come to understand a lot more about sharing the Truth with others ... what works better, what does not work as good, that there are different ways of sharing, etc. (of course I am still learning too - it never ends) I've also learned that most people prefer not to be so invasive about sharing the Truth. Maybe they don't want to offend someone? Maybe they don't want to lose a friend? Maybe they don't want to lose a client? Maybe they are ashamed? There are several "maybes" but I'm sure you get the point. Basically, I've come to learn that while I believe 100% that the above analogy fits really well with how we should be as Christians trying WAKE PEOPLE UP and help them escape their burning houses, more often than not, that's not how most professing christians go about it.
(You'll have to imagine a very friendly &/or somewhat timid person trying to help someone in a burning house)
Um, excuse me ... Sir ... Um, I'm so sorry to bother you. I hope I'm not interrupting your sleep too much? Can I get you a cup of coffee? How about a little snack? Did you sleep well? Did you have a lot to do last evening? Oh yeah? How did that go? Wow, really? That's very interesting! You know, I was thinking of going fishing this weekend, did you happen to see what the weather was going to be like? Do you like to fish? Oh really? Wow, that's quite the fish story there!! I'm sure that was delicious to eat too; how did your wife prepare it? Hmmm, I never thought to do it like that, maybe I'll try that next time. What kind of bait did you use? Oh? Did that seem to work better? I use strawberry dough balls and that seems to work well, however the dye tends to make my hands red for a while and I don't care much for that. Maybe you have a better way of making it? Oh yes, I'd love the recipe, thank you!! Whenever you have time. Say, did you happen to catch what happened on the ball game yesterday? You know, I really like football. I played a lot of it when I was in highschool and even got a scholarship to college, however I had a bad injury that stopped all those plans. Oh well ... I can still watch it on tv with my kids. Go Packers! What's that you say? you like the Vikings instead? Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree there! Maybe we can get together some time and watch the big game? Maybe have some snacks and games for the children? Yeah, that would be real nice. Oh and by the way, your house is on fire ...
If a blind man were about to walk over a cliff, would you stop him? If a deaf man were about to get hit in the back by a car, wouldn't you try to warn and help him somehow? If a drunk man were about to get into a car and drive it, would you stop him? If a house were on fire, would you not try to warn and help the people inside? I'm sure you would. Well, I hope you would ... and I'm pretty sure you would not be afraid of hurting the person's feelings or offending them because you are trying to help them wake up ... trying to help them get out of a life-threatening situation. Why is it then that "we" are so afraid to be BOLD when sharing the Truth? The New Testament mentions several times about preaching the word with boldness. Yes, you may look like a fool (afterall, the preaching of the cross is foolishness to them that parish!), you may be misunderstood. You might offend someone. But that's all right. The Word of God is a sword ... it cuts and divides.
Why not just die to yourself and put all your life into serving the Lord and sharing His Word with others? This would be well pleasing to the Lord.