Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bouncing Back from Blunders

Proverbs 11:30 says, “He that wins souls is wise.”  One of the benefits to sharing your faith is that it’s a continuing education.  No matter how long one has been doing evangelism, you can always learn new ways to approach people and overcome objections.  A soul-winner must also learn to rebound from mistakes made on the streets.

One afternoon in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, I handed out tracts while running errands.  As I was about to walk across a bridge back to the house I was staying at, I offered a tract to a man approaching me on his bicycle.  Sometimes bike riders will snatch tracts out of my hand like a baton from a relay runner.  Originally this man passed by me without taking the tract but then suddenly stopped.  A second later, a woman riding closely behind crashed into him, fell onto a grassy area next to the sidewalk and started crying.  At first I didn’t say anything as I was stunned by what just happened.  Meanwhile, the man helped this woman up and asked if she was okay.  When the woman commented that her arm was hurting, I mentioned that I was a minister and offered to pray for her.  After doing so but didn’t see a manifestation of healing, the man politely said “Thank you.”  I took that as a sign it was time for me to leave.

As I continued walking across the bridge, I brooded over the accident.  Suddenly I remembered the woman had been listening to an iPod.  Had she been more alert to her surroundings and not followed the other bike rider so close, this woman could have avoided crashing into him.  Nevertheless, I was determined not to let something like that happen again.

Exactly a week later, I was evangelizing in downtown Fargo and saw a huge amount of bicyclists coming up the street.  My first thought was to offer tracts to whoever would take one.  But recalling the accident in Coon Rapids the week before, I didn’t want to cause another one.  I considered offering a tract to the last biker who had no one behind him.  But instead, I approached a woman who was waiting for a friend withdrawing cash from a nearby ATM machine.  Edna said she was Catholic and thought she would first go to purgatory when her life ended.  Eventually she prayed with me to receive salvation.  Hallelujah!

So the next time something goes wrong while evangelizing, don’t give up on fulfilling the Great Commission.  Move on and keep sharing the gospel.

“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.  But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” - Proverbs 24:16 (NLT)

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