Years ago, when I pastored a church, I had a conversation with a friend that rattled me.
We grew up together in a church and both drifted away after high school.
Then I experienced a spiritual transformation in college and he raced full out the other direction.
He’d visited our church, which was now booming, a couple of times with his mom on Mother’s Day.
One evening as I was leaving the office he came by the church to deliver something for his mom. Afterward I stood at his driver’s window talking with him while he sat in his car with the engine running. That was my first clue he preparing for a quick getaway.
Easter was coming and we had a special service planned so I asked, “Why don’t you join us?”
He responded, “No, I’m really not interested. And I need to be going.” With that he rolled up his window and left me standing on the sidewalk in the dark.
I remember feeling rejected and wondering, “Was there something else I could have said?”
After about five minutes I realized it wasn’t really me. Not that I can’t have that effect on some people occasionally but not this time. I think he was being truthful. He simply wasn’t interested.
Occasionally when talking with someone about spiritual things I’ve encountered similar responses.
Realize I very reluctantly share my faith with anyone one on one. I’m not one of those who walk up to strangers, back them into a corner and whip out a pamphlet. I’m really a wimp at this so it usually just comes up in a conversation.
But I’ve had people say, “Well, no one can prove God exists.”
Or “What about the people live in the jungle and have never heard of God?”
Or “I could never believe in a God who allows war.”
Or “I wouldn’t want a relationship with a God who would have people go to Hell.”
You know what? Those are great questions. I’ve wrestled with them myself. And frankly I don’t mind discussing them.
Yet, I’ve also found most of the time the person really doesn’t want an answer. They just want an excuse.
Because they anticipate when they enter into that relationship with God their life will change. And, you know what? It will.
I’ve watched my own go from darkness to light.
From fear to confidence.
From anger to peace.
From hurt to wholeness.
And frankly I don’t understand this resistance sometimes. I’ve seen people whose lives are just complete crap and they would rather hang onto to it than make a change. I mean really?
Yet, even Jesus experienced this. He promised an amazing life. He worked miracles.
And some just shrugged their shoulders and said, “You know, I’m just not interested.”
Then Jesus condemned the cities where he spent most of his time and said they simply have no excuse.*
For all of us there comes a time when the excuses must end if we want to experience the amazing life.
What have you found?
Please share it on Facebook, Twitter or email me.
*Matthew 11: 20-24