Sunday, April 10, 2016

Witnessing While Working

Two days ago I read in the news about a state trooper who was fired for proselytizing during traffic stops. Brian Hamilton (pictured here) was a 14-year veteran of the Indiana Police Force. During an eighteen month period, he was sued by two different drivers who were asked questions about their religious beliefs after being pulled over. Despite given a warning after the first lawsuit was filed, Hamilton insisted he was following the Lord.

This reminded me of an incident told by the evangelist who taught me to be a soul winner. Before Nick Kinn went into full-time ministry, he worked for the post office. One day while witnessing to a coworker, Nick was approached by his supervisor who asked, “Doesn’t the Bible say, ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal?’” He then pointed out Nick was stealing company time by witnessing instead of sorting mail. Nick apologized and from that point on witnessed to coworkers only during breaks. 

As much as Jesus wants His people to share the gospel with others, we should avoid doing so in ways that leave a bad witness or disrespect authority. Over the years I’ve witnessed to waiters, clerks, construction workers and other people while they’re doing their job. Usually I’ll offer a tract and encourage them to read it when they take a break. Sometimes I’ve felt led to ask questions about their eternal destiny if they don’t appear to be too busy.

One day I stopped at a Ponderosa restaurant where (to my surprise) the woman behind the cash register offered to pay for my meal. Later when Jacqueline stopped by my table, she started weeping when I began ministering to her. Suddenly more customers showed up and Jacqueline had to get back to work. Immediately I got in line behind the new customers. When I came up to the cash register again, I shared Romans 10:9 with Jacqueline. She prayed to get born again.

As long as we remain teachable, we can increase our effectiveness in reaching the lost while in the marketplace. I pray Brian Hamilton will correctly discern when and how to witness on his next job. Perhaps he could become a police chaplain.

“You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?…do you dishonor God through breaking the law?” - Romans 2:21, 23

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