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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Love like Money

In light of our recent conversations about evangelism, the following quote seems particularly relevant:

"The problem with Christian culture is we think of love as a commodity. We use it like money. Professor Spencer was right, and not only was he right, I felt as though he had cured me, as though he had let me out of my cage. I could see it very clearly. If somebody is doing something for us, offering us something, be it gifts, time, popularity, or what have you, we feel they have value, we feel they are worth something to us, and, perhaps, we feel they are priceless. I could see it so clearly, and I could feel it in the pages of my life. This was the thing that had smelled so rotten all these years. I used love like money. The church used love like money. With love, we withheld affirmation from the people who did not agree with us, but we lavishly financed the ones who did....

Here is something very simple about relationships that Spencer helped me discover: Nobody will listen to you unless they sense that you like them.

-Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz (p218,220).

This is why lifestyle evangelism can NEVER be a program. This is why sharing Christ HAS to be comfortable (in fact, I'd argue that the only place you can ever wrestle with the really uncomfortable things is in the comfortable context of unconditional friendship). So maybe we should just scrap the term "evangelism" altogether and call it "Gospel Lifestyle"...


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