As Christians we tend to create a “do not do list” to help keep ourselves on the straight and narrow. Over time our list grows from a ‘do not do’ to a ‘do not be around’ just because its easier to keep on track or avoid any association with that particular subject. Regardless of whether we truly should not be participating is each individuals personal conviction and I am not even going to attempt to address that issue.
If my “do not do list” keeps me from pursuing the path God has me on, then is that contradicting the point of making my list in the first place.
For example, God’s will for my life is to be a light for teen mothers. Would I remain in my Christian comfort zone and only continue my typical outings such as work, church, and the store? Or would it make more sense to pursue God’s will and make myself available to the people I feel called to minister to? What would be even better would be to make myself available in an environment they feel comfortable and not guarded. If I am easily relatable to young mothers then I need to live among the young mothers.
If misunderstood “manly” men 🙂 find you approachable and they are your target audience for ministry should you make yourself accessible to them? Or should you idolize your rules and miss the opportunity God has given you all together simply because alcohol (or any another do not do) might be present?
Many would answer you do not surround yourself with temptations and we must be set apart from the “world”. What is a temptation to you might not be to another and ‘being set apart from’ does not mean ‘not being part of’. We were sent into the world but the difference is we are sanctified by the truth. We have the knowledge of His word. It is commonly said that people use alcohol as a crutch to avoid dealing with things. Let’s make sure we don’t use it as a crutch to avoid relationships and ministry with people we see as difficult.
I think we find it so easy to misunderstand ministry. Ministry isn’t a bunch of one liners and off the wall confrontations to random strangers. Ministry happens by living life together. It happens without you knowing that it’s even happening. Maybe you didn’t ask your waitress “Do you believe in God?” but showing her love and compassion speaks just as loud if not louder. God can use you in ways far beyond a blunt Jesus centered conversation.
Of course I am not saying we should omit Christ from the topic of every conversation entirely. It is simply less evasive and more loving if we are genuine. Without someones respect or trust the chances of them listening are very slim. Sometimes its more appropriate to be a subtle encourager or listener.
My heart hurts for all of the missed opportunities simply because we are scared to not follow “our rules”. Remember we are called to follow Him not rules.