I Repent (Part Two)

September 16, 2008

It has been said that doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity.  It’s also the way many Christians repent.  We say “I’m sorry” to God but fail to change our behavior.  We don’t share the extra tunic or divvy up the surplus food.  “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance,” shouted the wooly prophet (John 3:8). 

When it comes to personal evangelism — namely, the lack thereof — what would the fruits of repentance look like?  What would be evidence that I really mean to share the gospel and not just hoard it?  Prayer, for starters.  Then relationships. 

If one wants unbelievers to meet Jesus, actually getting to know some unbelievers would be helpful.  This seems to be what Paul had in mind when he wrote,

Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time (Col 4:5).

In other words, develop a lifestyle of relating wisely with people who don’t know Jesus.  Snap up every opportunity with them.  Don’t just stumble across good deals, go out shopping for them.  Keep your weather eye open at all times.  Be intentional!

Cultivating wise friendships with unbelievers might necessitate adjusting the way you do some things you already do.  For example,

  • work out at a local gym rather than at the church;
  • join a rec league rather than a church league;
  • eat at the same places and get to know one or two of the servers;
  • go through the same cashier’s line at the grocery store every week;
  • go inside the bank and become familiar with the tellers;
  • take your kids to the local park on the same day or night each week.

Even better, identify unbelievers you already know — in your neighborhood, in your family, at work or school, at the ballfields, etc.  Strike up regular conversations, go out for coffee, play a round of golf together, have them over for dinner.  Be intentional! 

Me?  There’s a man I need to go visit again.  There’s a neighbor I’m talking to regularly now.  And another family is joining up with my family to host a neighborhood block party in November.  I can’t wait to see where things go from here!  

I’ll post a third evidence of repentance tomorrow, Lord willing.

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