We had got along really well and had been honest with each other, so why hadn't I been braver…
Reference: v.13 "Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you." (NIV Bible)
Explore: The other day I had some people come to my house to lay some concrete in my back yard. The boss, Peter, was a lovely gentleman who had been incredibly helpful during the whole process. We had got along very well and as we were talking on the final day he asked me what I did for a living. This is how the conversation panned out:
Peter: Do you mind if I ask you what you do for a living?
Linda: No, I don't mind at all. I'm actually a minister.
Peter: A minister of what?
Linda: Of religion, I'm a minister of religion.
Peter: Oh! Of what religion?
Linda: I'm a Christian minister, in the Churches of Christ.
Peter: Ah, so you can do weddings and funerals and stuff?
Linda: Yes, that's right.
Peter: Yeh, I knew there was something different about you… Can I be honest with you?
Linda: Of course.
Peter: I thought you were a copper.
Peter: Yeh, I thought you were a police officer. Because you were fair and honest and you just told it how it was. You were straight down the line.
Linda: Oh, okay. I'll take that as a compliment.
Peter: Oh yeh, it's a compliment. I like coppers.
And with that Peter went out the back to talk to his employees.
I was playing the conversation through in my head a day later and I suddenly though, 'Why didn't I ask Peter what he thought of religion?' We had got along really well and had been honest with each other, so why hadn't I been braver and asked, 'So, have you had much contact with other ministers?' I could have got to know and little more about Peter's background and helped to prompt his thoughts on God. But the moment passed and I did nothing. I could look over my life and find many other conversations like this one. I'm open when people ask the questions but I don't often push the conversation any further towards talking about God.
Application: If you have been following the story of Jeremiah the prophet from the very beginning, the words I have chosen as my 'Reference', from verse 13, would not sound very different to all the other words Jeremiah has spoken to the people of Judah. For the last 25 chapters Jeremiah has been telling the people to turn from their evil ways and follow God. However, things have changed. The people are now crying for Jeremiah's blood and saying that he should be put to death for saying such things. Under such hostility and opposition, what does Jeremiah do? Does he just let the conversation pass like I did with Peter. No, he continues to say to the people: Turn from your evil ways and follow God. What an incredibly fearless person. Jeremiah is willing to put his life on the line to bring the people God's message. Even under death threats he still continues on. I could take some great encouragement from Jeremiah. The most important thing is to get God's message across to […]
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.