One Awkward Moment – Romans
So I was about 19 when I really started feeding myself – getting into the Word for myself. I started seeing things differently. I saw my weakness differently. My weaknesses were always reasons to stay quiet and suddenly I started seeing them as things that were going to make me pray and keep me in a place where I had to depend on God. When suddenly my weakness became my strength, I saw my past different. I saw the things that were haunting me, those scars are now my story and I could offer them to other people and show them how big God’s love is.
I started seeing people different. I saw my friends differently. I’d gone to school my whole life like most of us and I’d been a Christian, but I didn’t see people like Jesus did until I began to look at my friendships. I began to look at the people I spent my time with and I began to wonder about their souls. I began to wonder if they knew God, if they were afraid of the same things I was, or if they were going to be in heaven when I got there. Where did they stand with God? And it hurt my heart that I didn’t know. I’d been in friend’s lives for so long and never knew that, but once God shows you something, once God turns the light on in your life, you can’t unknow it. So I was having to face the truth of not knowing where my friends stood every time I hung out with them.
I thought to myself “I wasn’t a good enough Christian, I wasn’t a smart enough Christian and I was just going to mess everything up” and that was my excuse to stay away from serving Him in a lot of ways. It’s just excuses.
I remember a guy named Garner I went to school with. He was smart. He was witty. He had very dry humor about him and he was a lot smarter than me. I would let him take the lead in most discussions, but I knew that I needed to share the gospel with Garner even though I wasn’t sure what that really meant. Everybody at church talked about it – “share the gospel, share the gospel, share the gospel” – and I thought I’ve got to do this. It weighed on me so much that I thought I was going to do something wrong and Garner was going to run from God forever because I said something wrong. I thought to myself “I wasn’t a good enough Christian, I wasn’t a smart enough Christian and I was just going to mess everything up” and that was my excuse to stay away from serving Him in a lot of ways. It’s just excuses.
I started thinking “Who do I love here? Do I love my friend or do I love my friendship more than I love my friend?”
Because you’ve heard it said a lot, “I want to share the Gospel with this person but I don’t want to push them away. I don’t want to lose the friendship.” Now thinking about it, what am I saying when I say that? I want them to be my friend more than I want them to know Jesus, and I had to face that. I realized that I was going to have to do this. We were going bowling (I don’t know why anybody goes bowling but we went) and on the way home I decided this is it. I’ve got to talk about Jesus to Garner.
I said, “Garner, man, I just want to talk to you about God.” I thought, let’s just start it off real awkward, right? And he said, I’ll never forget it, “Alright…” and it was silent for about 20 seconds. The longest 20 seconds of my life. I thought if I don’t do this I’m never going to do this.
Being a Christian for me isn’t about doing everything right, it’s about the fact that I’m never going to be alone again, and the fact that God loves me so much He deals with all of my stuff too.
Then I remembered a few verses from Romans that I learned at church and I just told him “God loves you, and I want you to know that I love you too, and I want to see you in heaven. I want to see you with Jesus in your life.”
And I shared my story with him. I said, “You know me, I’m tripping over life every day and being a Christian for me isn’t about doing everything right, it’s about the fact that I’m never going to be alone again, and the fact that God loves me so much He deals with all of my stuff too. And I know that if He can save me, He can save you.” It wasn’t anywhere that well said, but I remember at the end he said, “Well, thanks man I appreciate that.” There were about two minutes of silence, I got out of his car and got into mine, and I thought, “Well, I just blew that one for you, Lord.”
It was years before he got my number, texted me, found out I was in Casting Crowns. He texted me and said, “I just want you to know that I’m a believer now and we’re in church, and my kids are in church and looking back I know how hard it was for you to do that. And I want to thank you for sharing truth with me even though you didn’t know what I was going to say back.”
People are worth one awkward moment.
Looking back now, that was awesome. I just want to ask you something – there are people in your life that preachers aren’t going to reach, and there are people our hearts break for that I may never sing to, so I think if you love them that much, they are worth one awkward moment. One moment where you let your walls down and you say, “I love you, I love you so much – I’ve earned the right with this friendship to tell you ‘you need Jesus’.” It’s not telling people that you’re better than them, it’s not telling people that they’re bad. They need the Lord, just like you. People are worth one awkward moment.