I was talking to a friend recently about things we did when we were younger, when our fresh faith set us on fire for the Lord. We shared stories of innocent, but not very well thought-out attempts to share Jesus with everyone we possibly could.
She told about getting some friends together and going downtown at bar closing time with hot coffee. They stood on the sidewalks and “ministered” to tipsy people by handing out free cups of strong, black java. There were some issues with this “reaching out” tactic, however well intentioned. First, nobody remembered the nice church people in the morning. Second, it wasn’t the safest place for young people to be hanging out. Third, it got awkward when someone they recognized from the next pew stumbled out of the establishment.
Her story reminded me of my own fervent attempts to spread the love of Jesus. When I would visit a public restroom I would take a Sharpie marker out of my purse and add to the graffiti in the stall. Right above the roll of toilet paper, I would solemnly write, “Let Jesus wipe away your sins.” This method of evangelism also was questionable. First, writing on public property was vandalism. Second, it was borderline offensive. Third, I doubt if there was any real soul searching as a result of my entreaty.
After some study, it appears that the Bible is silent on both handing out coffee at 2 a.m. and writing on bathroom walls. The closest the Good Book comes to mentioning coffee is naming a New Testament book Hebrews. The only thing that will actually be wiped away, according to the Bible, is tears. (“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17)
God’s approach to saving the lost was much more effective.
“But God demonstrated His own love for us in this:
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Maybe dying to myself and loving others sacrificially would get me better results.