While going through one of the blogs I like to keep up with today, I ran across a quote from a martyred missionary by the name of Jim Elliot. He was killed at the age of 29 while trying to reach an indigenous group of Indians in the country of Ecuador. While this is a tragedy, it is also an inspiration. Apparently, Jim kept a journal and it was found after his death. One quote that I came across really hit me. Jim wrote: “Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.”
I have prayed along a similar vein in the past. But the part that struck me was his prayer that whenever someone met him, they must turn one way or another! I once told a minister that I happened to be talking to, that it seemed to me that whenever the Gospel was preached, it should either draw people closer to God, or push them away. I can’t remember his exact words of response to me, but it wasn’t words of encouragement and agreement. And I realize that believing that isn’t the most popular thing. But in all honesty, isn’t that the Gospel? If we who are Disciples of Christ are living wholeheartedly for the Gospel we say we believe in, those we come into contact with should only be left with two alternatives, just like the image above. We should be like the post dividing the road. When people come into contact with us, a choice has to be made.
For me, the hard part is that the Gospel is offensive. There are no two ways about it. No matter who you are, Christian or non-Christian, at some point in your life, the Gospel offended you. It was your response that determined the path you chose next. I’m not advocating that we go out of our way to offend people, and Jesus Himself never went out of His way to do that. But, He said that whenever we chose Him, our lives and the Truth that we were called to live would be offensive.
I want my life to be a life of Truth to the One who saved me. I want to be that post in the fork of the road so that whenever someone comes into contact with me, they have to make a choice. What about you?