This morning I was working with Acts during my daily time here at the office, and I was once again stopped in my tracks by God. I read something that I have read many times, especially in the last couple of years. I read about the conversion of Saul, who becomes one our most famous evangelist in Paul.
But I read the story about Saul’s blinding on the road, and how for three days he ate nothing. Then Ananias being told to go and explain the gospel to Saul, but there were two things that really struck me this morning. Ananias was so comfortable in talking with God that he registered his objections and actually had his mind changed by God. When was the last time that truly happened for us? Probably less often that it really should be.
Also the other thing that really struck was me was just how quick, bold, and daring the early actions of Paul are. Here is a guy who just a couple of weeks before who was trying to kill “followers of The Way” now preaching. That must have seemed so schizophrenic to the people in the synagogues, and let’s not even start with the reactions of the chief priests. It also says that Paul was so bold that some in the synagogue were trying very often to kill him.
But Paul has a reputation of saying things that get him into trouble, but often that is because he has no filter between heart (or brain) and mouth. I know many people like this, but I do not know many people who channel their lack of filter to speaking boldly for God. I think the amazing thing about Paul is that he dives in headlong. He does not worry about the consequences of the things he’ll do.
When I think about my own faith life, and how I am about sharing my faith with others I wish I was a bit more like Paul. I think many of us know the way it goes when we attempt to not step on toes with our convictions. Paul did not care, and he probably turned some people off from “The Way,” but he also brought in thousands.
I don’t want my faith to become like that of Westboro Baptist Church, or other groups who spread hate and call it religion. What I want is the strength and integrity to speak love to teenagers and others whose life could be impacted by the love of Christ. Amen.