Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Witnessing Opportunity

I have a paper due tomorrow! And guess'll get to see it before my professor does! :-) Our assignment was to write a dialogue in which we "engrafted" Scripture into a Gospel presentation. In other words, we're supposed to quote Scripture without directly quoting it. I based my dialogue on an experience that I had about a year and a half ago, when I was working at my dad's sports camp. I was talking to one of the junior counselors about music, and about why I only listened to Christian music. This boy was not a believer, and he thought I was really weird.... :-)

Anyway, I responded to his questioning with some lame answer like, "Well, I have my taste in music and you have yours!" Afterwards, Mom and I talked about how I could have responded by sharing specifically why I listen to Christian music...because I am a Christian!!

So anyway, I based my paper on that experience; I kind of wrote down how I wished the scenario had turned out! :-)

A Witnessing Opportunity

“Why on earth do you listen to so much Christian music? Don’t you ever listen to secular music?”
I turned to face the teenage boy who was speaking and grinned at his incredulous expression. “Lord, this kid thinks I’m a nut!” I thought. Then out loud I replied, “Not usually, Jay. I really appreciate the lyrics of most Christian music, and so I usually prefer it over most secular stuff.” I knew this reply would not satisfy Jay. Even though he was a fellow counselor at the local Christian day camp where I was working, his attitudes, actions, and words made it clear that he was quite clueless about Christianity.
"Yeah, well you obviously have no clue about all of the quality music that’s out there!” Jay’s demeanor grew more and more sarcastic. “Be honest, Bri, you probably just listen to Christian music because your parents won’t let you listen to anything else. Why don’t you try branching out and having a mind of your own? ”
“Actually, I do listen to some secular music, Jay. I’m not sheltered, I just don’t like the fact that so much music brings the listener down, both mentally and emotionally. Seriously, think about the messages that many song lyrics send. They talk about sex, drugs, alcohol, bad’s not information that I want to feed into my brain!”
"Oh, come on, Bri! They’re just songs! You won’t become a drug addict if you listen to one song about drugs!” “Maybe not, but, Jay, I’m a Christian.”
“Oh, so it’s your religion then. You just follow a bunch of rules, and you believe that if you listen to Christian music, you’ll impress God!”
“Nope…that’s not it at all. Actually, God comes right out and says that no one is perfect. It’s impossible for us to impress Him or to live up to His standards because we’re such bums!”
Jay’s look morphed from one of sarcasm to one of total confusion. “Well then what is the point of even trying to please your God if it’s so impossible?”
"The point? Well, I guess the point is that I’m so grateful to Him for all He’s done for me that I try to please Him every chance I get.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that He’s so awesome and merciful, that I try to thank Him for His love by honoring Him and by feeding my mind with good information that encourages me to obey Him. He loves me so much, Jay! Even though He knows I mess up all the time, He still wants to be my friend! He’s done everything He can to make it possible for me to have fellowship with Him. He loved me first, and so I love Him back.”
“Oh yeah?” I was surprised at the interest in Jay’s tone. “Well, what specifically did He do to make you fall all over yourself trying to please Him?”
“Well, since He knew that there was no possible way for me to fellowship with Him
because of my sin, and because He loved the world so much, He gave up His only Son, Jesus. Jesus, who was completely perfect, came to earth and became sin for me. He took all of my punishment and died on the cross so that God could forgive me and cover me with His own perfection.”
I could tell Jay was listening intently, and I was sure I saw some comprehension creep into his face.
“Well, that’s really nice and everything, but what’s the point of trying to please someone who’s dead?”
“Well, actually, He’s not dead. After three days under ground, God raised Him from the dead because death was not strong enough to hold Him down! He conquered death, and that means that we can enjoy eternal life and complete fellowship with God!” “Eternal life? That sounds a little over the top, Bri.”
“I know it does, but it’s true. God says that if we believe in Jesus and in the fact that God raised Him from the dead, and if we admit that Jesus is our all-powerful Lord, we will be rescued from death.”
“That’s all there is to it? Just believing? Man, it sounds so simple! But what about after you believe? What if you really mess up? Does God get mad and disown you?”
“Nope! God actually says that when we believe in Him, He seals us with His Spirit! His Spirit is a permanent guarantee that our salvation will last forever! Isn’t that amazing?” Just talking about the Gospel and meditating on His mercy was stirring up great excitement in my heart. “Lord,” I prayed, “please touch Jay and draw Him to Yourself! Help him to understand!”
Since the beginning of our conversation, Jay’s attitude had undergone a complete change from one of mocking confusion to one of intent interest. Now he seemed to snap back to his original indifference.
“Ok, well, uh, I gotta start setting up lunch now.” He started to walk away, but then suddenly stopped and turned back to face me. “Hey, could I talk to you about this again?”
I was excited by the genuineness of this request. “That’d be awesome! Maybe after lunch…?”
He nodded and walked away, and I quietly thanked God for giving me the right words to say and for revealing to me how to clearly and tactfully communicate the appropriate Scriptures. God was working in Jay’s heart, and in mine!


Madison said...

Oh my goodness Brianna! That is so unbelievably amazing! I loved it! You have an awesome gift of writing. :)
If I were your professor, I'd give you an A+


Meshaay said...

Hey Brianna! Hope you get a great grade on this paper.
RYC: I'm good thanks. How are you?

Paula said...

Hi Brianna,

This post is great, and your witnessing opportunity is a winner! You've managed to say all the things that we often don't think to say at the time. It's so important that we tell of what HE has done for us.

Love it! Paula :-)

An Old Fashioned Girl said...

Great writing Brianna!

Julia said...

Very good writing, Brianna! :o) I wish I could witness like that! :)

Laney said...

Amazing story! It was so cool to read! Thanks for sharing!


Carla said...

Amazing story :)! You write very well!

Although I don't only listen to Christian music (I grew up with the oldies!), I thought this to be very inspirational and it really made me think twice about what I listen to.

Olivia said...

hey Brianna!

That was beautiful! If you shared this paper with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort at , I'm sure they would be very pleased and encouraged to read how you witnessed with patience and love to Jay. Did you speak with him again?