From the earliest days of our relationship, my wife has repeatedly demonstrated that she is not afraid of talking to anyone. This which I consider to be a strength of her personality and personal fortitude, is especially evident when it comes to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ! And to be perfectly honest, there were times during our dating days as well as into the first few years of our marriage when I was a little embarrassed by her actions. You see, I was new to the faith and was not yet real comfortable with my knowledge of the Word especially when it came to personal evangelism.
In speaking of Piper’s fearlessness, I must add the caveat that she has always possessed an acute sensitivity to the leading and caution of the Holy Spirit. She can quickly ascertain when it is right or wrong to approach someone and always followed the direction coming from her “inner man.” I must also say that I have seen her grow and mature in her sensitivity as well as the manner in which she ministers to others over the many years we’ve been together.
She enjoyed talking to the boys dressed in white shirts with black ties when different pairs of them would canvas the neighborhoods we lived in. I remember one time in particular when she and I were doing some yard work at my Grandmother’s home that we were renting from my folks when two of the “missionaries” came up and began talking with her. I became a bit irritated when she put down her rake and began to speak in earnest with them… and especially so when she called me over to join in on the conversation. At one point she even excused herself and ran into the house to retrieve her bible in order to give visible evidence to her statements. She also had the knack to turn just about any situation into a teaching event! That why she was so good as a homeschool teacher!
Well, much to my consternation, we spent the next hour with the two young fellows as she patently listened to them, shared her differing points of view, and had them read the scriptures she was referring to from the compact New American Standard Bible I had given her the previous Christmas… the whole time retaining a sweet smile on her face. The one thing I will have to admit is that even though I was complaining on the inside because I wanted to finish our yard work, I actually learned a lot from that and similar experiences as I took note of Piper’s methods, boldness and knowledge of the Word!
I think Piper’s approach to life and especially with those she interacts with is a perfect example of today’s second part of the three points that the Apostle Paul is teaching his readers in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17. Yesterday we looked at what I perceive to be the way that we are to look at ourselves. Today we look at how God sees us.
2 Corinthians 2:15 declares: “To God we are the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are being lost.” (God’s Word © & The Good News Bible) I think the meaning of this scripture is pretty evident. Simply stated, God sees us as carriers of the aroma of Jesus Christ Himself, no matter where we go, no matter who we are speaking to. Just as it never mattered to Piper whether the person she was talking to was a well-known public personality, like the time she went right up to Charles Shultz who was the well-known creator of the Peanuts comic strip when he walked into the take and bake pizza store we were in, or the homeless lady whose appearance was actually quite scary as she approached us outside the Mall in our hometown.
As Jesus said in Matthew 4:16 concerning our being the light of the world, Piper always let that light radiate from her as her sparkling personality and the very evident concern that she had for people emitted the “exquisite fragrance” of Christ (See 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 in The Message Bible) wherever she went. She was never too busy to take a moment to minister to someone in need.
I’ve personally discovered that the more I keep His picture of me in my mind, the more confidence I have in my ability and willingness to reach out to those around me. What do you think about that? Have a great day as you dwell on God’s view of you… and in the process keep asking yourself… “How and why am I expecting to reach out to others today?”