Tuesday, 6 March 2012

ZEAL WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE.

My Random House Webster's Large Print Dictionary states that a gimmick is a device or trick. Thirty-nine years ago, I didn't realize that I used devices to trick people into hearing or reading the gospel. Instead of piquing my fellow student's curiosity, I upset them. I meant well but I lacked the wisdom to build personal relationships with my schoolmates before talking to them about the gospel.

From my upcoming How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity memoir, here are two examples of how my enthusiasm for the Lord lacked that much-needed personal touch.

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But not everybody approved of my zeal for Christ. I recently purchased a tiny white plastic spinning top with the words of John 3:16 printed in blue ink on its underside. While waiting for class to begin one morning, I idly spun the top on my desk.

"Hey, let me see that thing," a classmate said. Without a word, I handed it to him. "Oh man! What a ripoff!" he groaned when he read the message. "It's just some religious crap."

I offended the cleaning staff too. Since few students wanted my tracts, and I often received taunts from my peers, I assumed that pasting the messages onto the door of my locker would be a more effective way to let people know about Christ.

When I arrived at school the next morning, somebody had removed all the tracts. I replaced them but those vanished too.

"What do you think you're doing?" the cleaning woman demanded as I pasted more tracts on my locker's door the third day. "Don't you know that's not allowed?"

"Isn't it? I didn't know that."

"You're not allowed to paste anything on your locker. It doesn't matter what it is. That's the rule."

"I thought it was just some mean kids who were taking them off."

"No. We have to remove them. It's a lot of work too. Imagine how ugly the place would look if we let you kids paste whatever you felt like on your lockers."

"I'm sorry about that. I didn't realize."

While I shuffled toward my next class, I hung my head. My well-meant evangelical zeal resulted in wasted tracts and extra work for the cleaning staff.

The rule extended to lamp posts by the school as well. I pasted a tract on one but someone had removed it the next day.

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How I Was Razed is the testimony of how God revealed his true character to me after charismatic house church elders misled me for more than fifteen years. You're welcome to contact me directly for more information about this upcoming paperback.