Sunday, May 1, 2011

To My Closest Friends

This post is for my closest friends; they know who they are. Today after church, I went to a friend’s house that I haven’t really been able to spend much time with due to busy schedules, to catch up. She wasn’t expecting me and was just about to jump in the shower so I told her it was fine and to go ahead and finish getting ready. I walked over to the couch to sit down when her boyfriend asked if I was coming from church as I was still in my dress. I said “yes” and then sat down and started looking through a magazine. Then something happened that I’ve kicked myself for all afternoon. He asked me what the service was about and I just froze. I couldn’t tell him anything. And it wasn’t because I hadn’t paid attention because I paid thorough attention and even took notes. I sat there frozen for a few reasons. One, I knew he was a nonbeliever and wasn’t expecting his interest but the main reason I was lost for words was because I was afraid of rejection. I gave him a very generic overview of the service...and I mean very generic...something like “God is generous to me and I should be generous to others.” Instead, I should have told him that the service was about how God does great things for us and that these things are a gift he has given us that we cannot repay him for. However we can use God’s gift to serve others and welcome strangers....That would have been a much better response than the one I provided, but I was afraid.

This was the first time I’ve spent time in their apartment since returning from Florida. I was afraid if I went on and on and talked about church they’d think I had turned into a “pushy Christian” or think that I thought more of myself, resulting in them not wanting to hang out anymore. Rejection hurts and I do not wish to be rejected by the friends I love. It’s strange because at work I talk about God and my faith so openly but around my friends I can clam up. And I think it’s because I’m closer to my friends, I love my friends, I don’t want to lose them...

Thinking back to the situation, I handled it wrong. I should have embraced the opportunity to share the Gospel with a nonbeliever who is also a friend. Not to try and force him to believe but to share with him the great things the Gospel has done for me. It was silly to fear rejection because even if I would have lost a friendship (that wouldn’t have happened, my friends are better than that) but hypothetically if I lost their friendship I would not be alone because God has promised to never leave me.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

I will not be rejected by the eyes of my God :)

This is a note to my closest friends...I know you’ve noticed a dramatic change in me recently. You’d be blind not to see that. I’m shining brighter than ever and overflowing with my love for Jesus. Please don’t feel uncomfortable around me. It’s still me Samantha...little Sammy D, just a new and improved version. I love you all, believer or non-believer, it doesn’t mean the world to me. I value your friendship and am not here to force you into believing or pushing you to church...I’m here to show you how God has intervened in my life and all of the great things that have come from that.

My life is leverage for God’s kingdom.


April said...

Well Jim had just left for the RDU airport when the "ding" for "you got mail" sounded on my phone. Restless because of all that is going on in our world right now with Bin Laden and Jim's travels, I got up to check my email to find notification of your blog. They always bring a smile to my face so I thought I would see what you had to say. Once I read it I thought God's timing is amazing! The sermon Pastor Jason gave yesterday was right in line with what you blogged about.

He just started a new teaching series called "Dare to be Great". Todays message came from 1 Kings 18:16-39. It tells how the great prophet Elijah challenges King Ahab and Queen Jezebel to a test of whose God was Lord. Well you know who won but it is still a good story to read. The part that made me think of this blog came from the next chapter, 19. After Elijah proved to all the people that our God is Lord he ordered the remaining 450 prophets of Baal slaughtered. When Ahab told Jezebel about this she was angered and sent word to Elijah that he would pay with his life for his deeds. You know what Elijah did? He ran for his life, scared. You see, everyone has had those moments. The Bible says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9. God is going to put you in some awkward situations at what seems the most unusual times where you will be able to share your faith through loving others either through kind words, jestures, or opportunities to share the message of the day. I have been in your shoes and missed those golden moments but there will be more ahead.

You have a friend who has posted this saying, "I am just a tool in the hands of a carpenter". I love it, its a perfect description of how a Christian's life should be. When was the last time you saw the hammer do all the work? Sometimes we need to let God do what he does best - use us to love all people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Today Pastor Jason said "take every aspect of your life and leverage it for the glory of God. The size of your God determines the size of your greatness". I also saw in a devotional today "One grain of faith is more precious than a pound of knowledge." All you need to do is be still, listen and let God guide you on how to share your faith the next time you have that chance.

Well now my comments are beginning to be blogs themselves, sorry! I had better try to get a couple more hours of sleep before I have to get up and go to work. My heart is filled with joy for you and where your walk with God is taking you. Keep the faith.

Sisters in Christ and loving you always,

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