Most of us grossly underestimate the effect we could have on people’s eternities if we would take the time to schedule breakfast or lunch with lost people in our sphere of influence. If we’d just make an appointment, and then take a risk in the conversation by clearly expressing the essence of what it means to know Christ personally, heaven only knows what might happen. ~Bill Hybels in Becoming a Contagious Christian, chapter Six: The Strength of Sacrifice
A woman who had recently become a Christian wrote this to her friend:
You know when we met; I began to discover a new vulnerability, a warmth, and a lack of pretense that impressed me. I saw in you a thriving spirit – no signs of internal stagnation anywhere. I could tell you were a growing person and I liked that. I saw you had strong self-esteem, not based on the fluff of self-help books, but on something a whole lot deeper. I saw that you lived by convictions and priorities and not just by convenience, selfish pleasure, and financial gain. And I had never met anyone like that before.
I felt a depth of love and concern as you listened to me and didn’t judge me. You tried to understand me, you sympathized and you celebrated with me, you demonstrated kindness and generosity – and not just to me, but to other people, as well.
And you stood for something. You were willing to go against the grain of society and follow what you believed to be true, no matter what people said, and no matter how much it cost you. And for those reasons and a whole host of others, I found myself really wanting what you had. Now that I’ve become a Christian, I wanted to write to tell you I’m grateful beyond words for how you lived out your Christian life in front of me. ~From Bill Hybels, Becoming a Contagious Christian, p. 56.
Wow — that should motivate us to a high level of authenticity in our lives, shouldn’t it?