I recently rode in the elevator with a young man who was delivering sandwiches to our office building. I commented that people must be happy to see him when he arrives. He grinned and agreed, then told me about a friend of his who delivers pizzas. “The other day,” he said, “someone robbed him. But they didn’t take his money—they took his pizza.”
I’ve been feeding our neighbors’ fish for several days while our friends are out of town. The fish live in a small pond in the back yard. My first morning to feed them, they ignored me. The second and third days were the same. But by the fourth, they realized that I had come to feed them and greeted me with open mouths. We’re now close friends.
As a person who knows Jesus personally, I have the greatest gift in the world to offer people: an introduction to him. I can tell them how their past can be forgiven and their future made secure. I can show them how to experience the power, love, and wisdom of the Creator of the universe.
Unfortunately, not everyone sees Christians as gift-givers. To some, we’re more like religion-enforcers. They view us as people of grades rather than grace, people with something to sell rather than beggars helping other beggars find bread. But they need what we have, more than they know.
Consider the swarm of sharks that recently closed beaches in Alabama. Large numbers of the predators were seen swimming in shallow waters, dorsal fins exposed. Authorities posted double red flags at the beach, alerting swimmers to stay out of the water, and threatened to fine those who disobeyed their warning.
No swimmers complained that the authorities were forcing their beliefs on them, or that they were being legalistic. Rather, they were grateful that they were kept from potential injury or death.
Every non-Christian you know is in greater peril than a swimmer with sharks. Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). When you share your faith, you offer your friend eternal life that starts today.
Our culture claims that truth is personal and religions are different roads up the same mountain. Society views those who seek to share their faith as intolerant imposers of religious rules. But those who see Christians in this way have been deceived. It’s not their fault that they don’t know the truth—”the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
It’s up to us to view evangelism and ministry not as intolerant imposition but as gift-giving grace. It’s up to us to live in such a way that others want what we have. It’s up to us to take any risk to share the transforming love of God. It’s up to us to keep swimmers away from the spiritual sharks that lurk nearby.
Every person who meets Jesus because you made the introduction will thank you forever.