Looking back, I was the kid who didn’t want others to see me sweat or give any opportunity for others to think I was weak or a dork. For example, in high school in the 80‘s it was embarrassing to have a farmer’s tan. At least . . . that’s what I thought. So I did as every conscientious student did and oiled up and laid out to be evenly and sufficiently burned for that Hawaiian Tropic savage tan. It was so worth the cancer risk.
What’s ironic though is that the people I admired most were those who didn’t care what others thought. They were the people who felt free to be who they were. They were the guys who could flaunt their belly fat with no shame, or wear ostentatious clothes, or wear a tank top to highlight their farmer’s tan.
When it comes to our ability to tell others about Jesus, we apply the oil in hopes of producing a perfect evangelistic presentation; no flaws, no sweat, no fat. So we wait until we’re mature, equipped, eloquent, and charismatic. But it never happens. If it does happen, our evangelism stinks because it is contrived, formulaic, and downright self-righteous.
Here’s the deal . . . If we think we have to have it all together to bring Jesus to others, we will never do ministry at all. We need to get over ourselves. In fact, perfecting ourselves actually detracts from ministry because it communicates to others that you have it together and they don’t. Who wants to be around that? I hate being around people who I think have it together spiritually, or who think they have it together. You do too!
Are you a believer in Jesus? Go be around unbelievers . . . just as you are. Befriend people. Eat with people. Let them see your flaws. God is at work in you. Pray for them. What you’ll find is that you will get to know people better, love them more, and the compassion that grows in you will show them you care. You will stumble over your words. You will say stupid things. Guess what? Christ builds His Church and is pleased to use you to do it.