As a medical receptionist, I often have to act as a liaison between the doctors I work with and their patients. Sometimes I have to convey information to patients that they do not like. If a doctor has chosen not to refill a patient’s prescription, I have to tell the patient and deal with their (usually angry) response. If the doctor says the patient has to rescheduled his or her appointment because they arrived after the fifteen-minute grace period, I have to deal with their (again, usually angry) response.
Is the anger directed personally at me as the messenger? I don’t think so. I tend to think that since I am The Face the patient sees at that moment, I get to bear the brunt of their immediate response, which usually comes forth before they have fully thought it through. Basically, I don’t think most patients curdle their anger long enough to realize the person they are talking to at the moment is not the originator of the message.
As Christians we have a message that is highly unpopular in this world. That does not mean we should ever shy away from saying it. Why? The fact that the world is in the shape that it is in in says that A) we are already not being vocal enough and B) people may not even know they are hungry for the Word, for that good Gospel message, but obviously the world needs it. One might ask, what is so offensive to some about the Word of God? Why do people, even some Christians, refuse to read, study, come to Bible class, etc.?
I’ve learned from personal experience that the Bible convicts. When you open the pages of the Instruction Manual, if you are reading in the right mind, having prayed beforehand for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what must be revealed, the Bible may be for you a mirror of your actual self. Whereas you can hide certain aspects of yourself and your life from others, you cannot hide anything from God. People may not read the Bible because they do not want to know of their sins. Once you have become aware of the sins you commit against God–repeat, against God, not against other people–then a sense of responsibility may form. People do not want that conviction, and a lot of people are not interested in giving up their current ways.
Boy, was I one of those people. I had no idea how miserable and lonely I was in my earlier years UNTIL I finally experienced the fulness of God. I thought I was having a good old time, drinking, clubbing, sexing… SMH. Every now and then that wiley devil tries to entice me into thinking I was truly living then, and how my life is such a drag now… well, it’s not. I have even more fun now than I used to. Why? Because at the end of the night I don’t feel remorseful about any of my actions. I stay away from people and places that are unsafe. And although I may have taken away some years through the damage I did to myself while I was drinking heavily, certainly that stopped once I let go of that habit. I have not looked back since. I can walk right into a liquor store and walk back out with my Peppermint Patty and not think twice about it.
I want for all people to experience the peace that comes along with clean, godly living. A lot of people aren’t going to be receptive to that. Just like in my job, some people may not be interested in hearing what we have to say. But we still have to say it and not take it personally if their response is not what we would want to hear. After all, their attitude is not against us, it is actually against the originator of the message–in our case, if people fail to embrace the Good News of Jesus Christ being our Lord and Savior, their attitude is against God, not us.