Summary: Paul taught us to be "versatile" in reaching out to people. But at times this can make us VERY uncomfortable. How can we make sure we share our faith with people who make us uncomfortable, and do it in such a way that we don’t betray our faith in Jesus?
OPEN: A man named J. K. Johnston studied the Gospels and asked this question as he poured over Matthew, Mark, Luke and John: Where did Jesus meet people?
According to his tabulations:
· The Gospels recorded 132 contacts Jesus had with people
o 6 were in the Temple.
o 4 were in Synagogues.
o 122 were with people in their daily walks of life.
Johnston’s point was this: Jesus thought outside the box. He thought outside the temple and the synagogue. Thus, if you and I are going to reach people for Jesus, we’ve got to do that too. We’ve got to think outside the church building.
We’ve got to get outside of our “comfort zone.”
And that’s what Paul is talking about in I Corinthians 9. He thought and acted outside his comfort zone to reach as many people as he could for Christ.
Now, – since I’m talking about Facebook this month that is also true of our Facebook pages. If we’re going to reach people for Jesus we need to think outside the box (get outside our comfort zone).
Now, that’s not always easy.
If you make “friends” on Facebook with non-Christians you get whatever they post on THEIR FB page… on YOUR Facebook page. And a lot of times, it’s not pretty.
You see non-Christians don’t think like we do. For many of them, cursing is a 2nd language. Thinking immoral thought is just the way life is. Many of them have no problem laughing at offensive photos and lewd comments.
Often, there are people who put things on their FB pages that you and I don’t really want that in our lives.
So, how do we deal with that?
Well, there are 3 ways I can think of.
1. You can let it go.
One preacher on Facebook wrote: “I have non-Christian friends up here who regularly post things that personally offend me. I remain their friend and continue to have conversations with them.”
He had no problem having their offensive materials on his page because he was totally sold out to witnessing to them. So he completely overlooked their unpleasant comments. I’m not real comfortable with this, but he is, and it works for him.
2. You can “Unsubscribe” from them. You can remove them your friend list so that you will never EVER have any contact with them again on Facebook. I mean, it’s what they deserve… isn’t it?
One preacher on FB said: “I have told a few that I got off their "friends list" due to questionable posts.”
3. OR, you can “unsubscribe from their postings” from ever receiving their postings again.
But you can still keep them on your friend list. If you do this, you can stop their offensive material from coming to your FB page… but whatever you post can still be read on their’s.
I have personally opted for the 3rd choice.
I “unsubscribe from their postings”, but not from them.
Now, why would I do that? Why would I WANT these people - who share nasty things - to stay on my Friend list? Because I want to talk to them about Jesus. I use Facebook to post my sermons and our church newsletter/ talk about Jesus things there. If I cut these people off from friend list, I can’t share my Savior with them. And I KNOW that if they meet Jesus, their lives will change… and the obscenities and immoral way of thinking will wither away.
ILLUS: A young man left home for his freshman year of college, his mother was concerned that he wouldn’t keep his dorm room in order. So when she visited him at Thanksgiving, she was not surprised to find his room in total disarray. Papers and books were scattered all over the place. But what shocked her most were the obscene pictures hanging on the walls.
At Christmas time, she sent her son a box of presents, including a portrait of Jesus. He thanked her for the gifts but didn’t say anything about the picture.
In the spring, when she visited the school again, her son was eager for her to come to his room. Upon entering, she found - there on the best wall space in the room - the picture of Christ. All the other pictures were gone.
Wisely she said, "Jack, there is something different about your room. Did you get a new rug?"
"Is this new paper on the wall?"
“When I was here before, it seemed to me you had more pictures than now."
"Yes, I did, Mother, but those other pictures seemed out of place after that one of Jesus came into the room."
My point? Once Jesus came into the room, that boy changed!
So, on Facebook, I will block the posts of people who share things that are immoral, but I won’t personally unfriend them because I want Jesus to come into their room.