Hypothetical Witnessing Challenge - The Post Office

(SeanO) #1

This is intended as a hypothetical situation in which you insert yourself and provide what you think is a wise course of action in terms of trying to share (or not share) Christ.

Here is the situation - you walk into a post office where you are on good casual terms with the guy (we’ll call him Bill) who works there just as another person is walking out. You can tell Bill is a little defensive for some reason. Then, as he scans your packages, he laughs out loud and says he wants to share a funny story with you - so you go along.

Bill says he shared with the person who just left that he had attended a drag event (men dress as women) and they tried to tell him about redemption. He is in absolute unbelief that someone would be so ridiculous. He says he leaves people alone as long as they are not hurting anyone.

Bill is expecting you to laugh along and clearly is not a believer.

So - what do you do?

Consider these things - if Bill talked about God and this other person behind their backs, will he not do so again if you try to share? Is this the right time to share if Bill is already upset by the other person perhaps being too forward?

I understand the Holy Spirit guides us, so please avoid simply saying to listen to the Spirit - not because I do not think that is a valid answer - but I think that shortcuts actually thinking through and learning wisdom.

(Jimmy Sellers) #2

@SeanO, to be clear, the postal employee was the one who attended the cross dressers event. He shared that to the customer before you and that customer responded with the gospel. The postal employee took offend at the customer imposing his view on him and was looking for support from you that he was right to be upset. If that is the case I am going to hold off with any comment as I cannot A) agree with his lifestyle choice and B) I cannot really blast a fellow believer for feeling the need to share the gospel.
Because you have given me time I might leave him with one for Ravi’s points (not verbatim) to ponder. You can’t judge a worldview by its short comings (failing) you have to look at its reach, its depth, its longevity, its ability to change lives.

(SeanO) #3

@Jimmy_Sellers Yes - the postal worker was venting.

But just like you don’t always try to solve someone’s problem when they are venting (they’re just upset), I just wonder if it was wise to respond or not.

(Jennifer Judson) #4

I think I’d say…I hope I’d say

Sounds like he stepped on your toes, but wouldn’t you say he was truly concerned about your heart? I mean, it took guts didn’t it? Sometimes we think a person is judging us when really they are trying to love us.

I’m a Christian, Bill. Looks like we come at this from two different points of view. But just like that guy, I believe that everyone falls short and requires salvation. You are loved by God. That means I see tremendous value in you. If you are ever interested, I’d love to go for a cup of coffee and discuss this sometime.

(SeanO) #5

@Jennifer_Judson Yes - I think admitting up front that there is a clear difference of opinion and that is not going to be reconciled in one discussion is very helpful.

(Dave Kenny) #6

Hi @SeanO

I think I would play the long game. You mentioned that you and Bill have come to know each other a bit, which stands to reason that there will be more opportunities to chat.

So I would actually say something to keep the conversation alive within his own worldview. I wouldn’t worry about presenting mine yet… not until I have demonstrated respect for his (in hopes that he’ll reciprocate when its my turn to share)

so… as weak as this sounds, I think I would just follow up with:

“Whoa. That sounds like an interesting discussion. How did that conversation even get started? Did you bring it up, or them?”

I would then want to know more about his interaction with this drag community. Is he a regular? When did he start? What attracted him to it… that sort of thing.

So… I wouldn’t do much sharing, I would try to get him to do the sharing… the customers before me played the short game… no need for a second dose… I’ll play the long game


(SeanO) #7

@Dave_Kenny Yes - that is a good point - without the context of a relationship it is very easy for people to dismiss advice of any nature - especially when related to matters so close to home as religion.

(Melvin Greene) #8

Great scenario @SeanO. My reaction would depend on the kind of interaction Bill and I have had in the past. But, I think I would agree with @Dave_Kenny. I would play the “long game.” I would ask what the previous customer actually said. I would ask for the reason why Bill decided to attend a drag show. For all I know, Bill might have someone close to him who is caught up in that life style; maybe a brother, or a son. He may even struggle with that himself. Normally, if someone gets defensive in a conversation like this one, it means that there is something deeper that produces it.

(SeanO) #9

@Melvin_Greene Good observations. Yes - I think patience and a relationship are probably the way to go.