Delivering The Gift

The other night Stephanie did something very thoughtful. Again. She brought a friend her favorite dessert from her favorite bakery.

Do you think she just left it on the front porch and ran away quickly before she was noticed? No, she carried it right into the kitchen so she could see the look on Amy’s face when she opened the box! It’s fun to deliver a gift!

Sharing the truth of Jesus Christ is very similar. And, as Adam and I have discussed, how you go about it largely depends on whether you believe the message is a wonderful gift or terribly bad news. Are you more focused on telling someone they are a sinner bound for hell, or that there is a God who loves them enough to offer new life and hope? Do you believe you have a wonderful gift to deliver?

My post on the million-dollar tract generated a fair number of comments from ya’ll. I’m glad to have your voices on this blog! Since I left the original post a little open-ended, I thought I’d circle around and conclude some of my thoughts on tracts:

1. I applaud the urgency with which many are sharing the good news through tracts and street evangelism. These folks believe that eternity is for real and we should all be prepared to meet God. I agree!

2. There are lots of ways to communicate the truth of God’s unlimited love and grace. Anything from tracts to blogs are valid tools for sharing the amazing purpose God has for our lives.

3. Our primary message and tone should be that of grace, love, and forgiveness. Maybe I’m running with different folks, but the people I’m hanging with already know they’re messed up. They don’t need condemnation. They need hope.

4. If you wouldn’t hand the tract to a neighbor or family member, you shouldn’t be leaving it for a stranger to find. On a related note, if you’re not sharing what God has done in your life with those closest to you, why are you so compelled to share with strangers?

5. If you don’t know anybody who is far from God, consider personally investing in your neighbors, co-workers, and family before handing tracts to strangers.

5. We should never shy away from the truths of hell, condemnation, and punishment. But how we relate these truths makes all the difference. Paul says our conversation should be “full of grace, seasoned with salt.”

7. I need to check my motives every time I share my faith. Is my first concern for the individual with whom I am speaking, or is it with making a point, being right, and convincing someone they should be more like me?

8. Our theology must be careful and true in what we speak and write. It’s important to paint an accurate portrait of God.

After the Starbucks incident, Adam summarized the situation best. As he watched the woman leave with her million-dollar bill, he said, “There goes someone who doesn’t believe the gospel is really good news.”

How about you? Do you believe it’s something wonderful to share?