I wonder how often people really think before they speak. Or if people really think that their words have no affect and what they say will just be passed off and not be challenged. I was stuck in between letting a social taboo go on without recognition and the fear of taking a stand, holding a difference of opinion which in the end gives way to being an outcast because I would appose the agreeing lemmings. Many times we tend to outwardly agree with what people are saying around us and not stand for what we think is right because we fear being different.
I had the privilege of sitting down with a couple pastors for a wonderful lunch. I got a bacon, ham, turkey, and roast beef sandwich with pepper jack cheese, sprouts, tomatoes, onions, and a special house dressing. This monstrous belly pleaser was oozing out from all angles, and only held together by my glove tan lined hands and a wimpy toothpick that barely stuck out each end of the pretzel roll bread. The zesty deliciousness couldn’t be contained. It was plopping onto my plate and lap before me. With this beast there was no room for manors, I had a task before me and I was ready to conquer my mountain and rescue the damsel in distress (which are my hands that were covered finger to elbow in sauce).
Mid way through my battle we were joined by a couple lovely elderly ladies. We pulled up some chairs and offered for them to join us. This restaurant seemed to be the hot spot to go, because many of the people from the church I had just spoke at in the morning were arriving. Since they had heard me at church they wanted to get to know more about my mission and my back ground. We started talking for about the issue of sex trafficking, and what it looked like in the local and surrounding areas. They asked me how children get caught up in this situation, why the pimps aren't being put in jail, and how to find it. I told them that we see it in our every day life, we have just become numb to it. Pornography is everywhere; our grocery store with the magazines, media and ads, television shows who can't go five sentences without making a sexual joke or reference, the list goes on. I stated talking to her about how porn and sex trafficking go hand-in-hand. Then I proceeded to talk about the street that every city has, that street where we all know some shady things happen on. That street where we know prostitutes and drug dealers are. Almost immediately after finishing that sentence she interjects and proceeds to tell a story that she thought was humorous. It went something like this:
My husband was driving down a street like that and came to a stop at stop sign and without any exchange of words a hooker hopped into his car. My husband told her that he wasn’t looking for any of that and that she needed to get out of his car. As he was driving home he called me (his wife) and said that he is going to need to wash his entire car after this happened.
Inwardly I was furious about the fact that he felt as if he needed to wash his car after she got in, but outwardly I kept my cool. I let the conversation go on a little while longer so I could gather my thoughts and have a productive conversation without making the lady feel attacked. On one side of the coin I have a reputation to upkeep that says to take a stand for the least of these. While on the other side I was wrestling with the fear of being an outcast because I didn't find this humorous. Deep down I knew I couldn't let this go unnoticed. I still feared being different and the possibility of offending her because I thought it wasn't funny. After a couple minutes there was a wonderful segway to bring the conversation back around. I spoke up with boldness and confidence on the grounds that I stand. With strategic wording I simply said, “Did you ever think about the opportunity your husband missed out on as to witness to that lady? Or were you to caught up in the need to wash your car?” At that moment I had my audience, they were all speechless. I leaped on the opportunity to continue my thought. I divulged my issue with people and how we are so quick to judge others rather than take into consideration the other persons needs or hurts. If we took a couple minutes out of our day to realize the moments that are smacking us in the face to reach out and put others before ourselves then we could live in a much better world.
Yeah in the back of my mind I was worried about what they may think of me, and that they might not come to my speaking engagement in the evening, but at the same time I needed to jump on the opportunity to point out that we, especially as Christians, need to love others before ourselves. We need to jump on every opportunity to share the gospel whenever we can. However, most Christians are afraid of what people will think about them rather than being worried about how much we are disappointing Jesus when we exclude Him from the conversation.
Was it easy? No freaken way. I, a mere 23 year old man, was sitting at a table where the average age was probably 58. But I couldn’t sit by and let my elders who confessed to be Christians talk that way. We need Christians that if they are going to talk the talk, then they need to walk the walk. I don't think we fully understand Gods wrath, but if we did then I don't think we would have the Church living the way that it is. I will continue to stand on grounds of being bold. With that it takes a lot of courage, and we can't continue to live in fear of what others may think about the grounds we should be standing on.
There is a passage in Matthew 7:13-14 that goes like this: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
It goes onto talk about how we need to beware of false prophets who come to us in sheep clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. And it is only by their fruits that they will be recognized. I say this with a sense of encouragement because far to often do we tend to go through the wide gates of society, and go with what is easy. We tell ourselves, “They are doing it so it must be ok. This is just how our culture is. These are different times. The bible is so old fashion and out dated.” And this is why those who enter through the narrow gate of Christ are few. Going against what society is doing is extremely uncomfortable and possibly the hardest thing you will ever do, and until you realize that this is where Christ wants us then you too will be a societal lemming.