Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Can i get a witness?

School started on Monday and i've a lot of things on my agenda for this semester, besides my normal 17 credits. May God helep me for real. Anyways, i was in my Intro to Art History class on Monday, when the professor asked each one of us to introduce ourselves. No biggie abi? Na ordinary introducion, tell us ur name, ur year, ur major and something interesting about urself plus what u did this summer. Hi, i'm Lagbaja..... Hello, i'm Temedo....... Hey, i'm Iroko tree...... and the list went on and on. When it got to my Christian broda's (we both attend the same campus Bible study) turn, this was how he introduced himself, "Hi, my name's Chris, i'm an 18-yr old virgin by choice, 'cos according to the word of God which i believe in, thou shalt not fornicate. I attend XYZ Church and u're all welcome to our Sunday worship service @ 10 a.m in ABC. Taste of the Lord's goodness, and see how sweet he is." Boy! Was i stunned? More than stunned. I was shocked... as in, see people boldly proclaiming Christ, no matter what the world may say or how they may be viewed. Anyways, when it got to dear Bijouxoxo's turn, who is a born again child of God (for about 8 yrs now), na so i just say my name, year, what i did in the summer. Finito.

Later that day, even up till this point, i'm still chastising myself for acting like a coward. An opportunity was presented to me to stand up for Christ, and what did i do? Let it slip out of my hands. Trust me, everyone in the class, myself included laughed when that kid said it, but i know deep down within me that he's going to touch someone's life with just that single statement. Whenever i remember the bible verse that says (i'm paraphrasing), "if u deny me before men, i'll deny u before my father" and the fact that on that glorious day, he'll spit out the lukewarm christians, i shudder.

Witnessing has been a big issue for me. I've tried several techniques, when i'm at my work-study job, if there's nothing to do, i make sure all i read is Christian literature, websites i visit are christian sites etc. Hoping that through that, an opportunity for witnessing would be created. One day, my boss at work saw me reading, "The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel" and asked to see the book i was reading, i gave him and he looked at it for about a minute and handed it back to me without saying anything. Immediately he gave me back the book, i had the urge, a very strong one too, to ask him if he would like to have the book for a day to look at it. What did i do? Took the book and suppressed that urge. It later dawned on me, that would've been a perfect witnessing opportunity. I've this other boss that doesn't believe there's a God. An atheist to the core, married with kids. What pains me most is that those kids too would most likely tow their parent's path. I've been praying for him, but i've not initiated any conversations with him yet in that direction.

What hit me most was when my friend from high school (secondary school, if you will) in Nigeria, who is based here called me 3 week ago. I hadn't heard from her in a long while. This girl was a staunch and i mean staunch Moslem from our h.s days. From the way she was talking, it seemed as if she had converted. I wasn't sure, so i asked her in a gentle manner, i was shocked and overjoyed when she told me she was now a born-again Christian. She was even trying to witness to me right there, on the spot. She then realized from our conversation that i was already a child of God. My people, there's no more time to waste for real, the time is near for the bridegroom to come for his bride, the church. The harvest is over ripe, but the workmen are few. I want to be one of the workmen.

This doesn't mean that i love the Lord less, nor does it mean that i'm a coward who doesn't want to be associated with God. I love the Lord with all of my heart, and i've been praying seriously and making efforts to winning souls for Christ. With what's going on in the world today, everyone who calls himself/ herself a child of God MUST be about his/ her father's business and MUST have a passion for lost souls.

My goal now, is to start small, when someone sneezes around me, rather than saying just bless you, i'd say God bless you. When someone asks how i'm doing, rather than saying just good, i'd say i'm blessed. When someone, regardless of who, asks me something about tomorrow e.g. "Are u coming to work tomorrow?" I'd reply, " I'm coming in at 9 am by God's grace." See, i've been doing all of the above, but i select who to say it to, and when to say it. My e-mail address signature reads, "Smile, Jesus loves you." But when i'm mailing some people i include it and to others, i don't maybe 'cos i don't want to be viewed as "somehow" or as an "overspiri." At this point i'm like, to the bushes with that, what's the point of thinking about how i'd be viewed by people when to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Since i can acknowledge the fact that it's in him and him alone that i live, move and have my being, so why would i be shy talking about my father? I've been praying seriously on this issue. Do u guys have any ideas to help me?

21 comments:

Miguel said...

It's tough oo Bijou but it has to be done...You have to bring your flesh under submission and remind it that you don't care what people say or think of you for so long as you are able to witness...When you tell yourself this enough times, trust me it will make it easier for you to recognise opportunities to witness and give you the courage you need...having said that, never forget to pray for it's the Holy Spirit that gives you the conviction.Thanks for this post.

DiAmOnD hawk said...

here's my personal take on it...I dont think because you didnt announce it means you're a coward. It's just me but I just feel it's unnecessary at ALL times to say it...it becomes overkill...for me anyways...I prefer to see your actions...that's how i know who you are and what you stand up for...

i have a guy at work who's always saying everything "God this"...and that...by the gRace...by his mercy...i mean i dont know if it's wrong but i do get tired of hearing it ALL THE TIME. His attitude STINKS so im like...whatever

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

Your blog is a typical example of the battles we as christians face in terms of trying to witness for Christ, even paul reminds us in the book of romans that 'we do what we don't want to do'.

There have been oportunities that many of us have allowed to pass by because we thought we really couldn't but we forget that it is the Holy Spirit who directs us, and puts the words in our mouth to witness. We ought to pray constantly for the Spirit of Boldness as unlike the 18yr old you mentioned many christians today lack that. And also pray to be led by the Spirit so we don't miss oportunites that the Lord sends ourway. Yes His words says that 'on the day of battle His troops will be willing. Let us align ourselves with God so that we will be ready at all times.

I also agree with @diamond, in terms of our behaviour being examples for others. A good counsellor friend of mind was in charge of a summer camp, and even though when she introduced herself at the begining to the group they all knew she stood for God. She never did mention it again. The camp was filled with young kids with addictions, self mutilated themselves and many were constantly trying to kill themselves. Anyways, she prayed daily for the Lord to take her away from the camp and cried most cause she couldn't stand the group anymore. The night before the last day after one had tried to kill herself, a girl came to her and asked that "there is something about you, and something you have, I wondered how can I go about to have it too". Because of her baviour a young child with addiction problems and on a suicide watch came to know God.

I'm sorry for the long blog, but I'm pleased to see someone taking the work of the Lord seriously. MTx.

Miguel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Miguel said...

Hmmm...it will be totally unfair for me to sit bac and be quiet..so let me address something i have read here...

@Diamond its never overkill even if you say it a million and one times in a row..u are confessing the existence of the Lord... as per the dude that always puts God in everything he says, i say Amen to him and his type. No one is perfect and so in all we do we should include and seek the Lord... if the world doesn’t think its overkill when curse words are being used at various times within a sentence, then it shouldn't be overkill testifying of God. All the guy is doing (whether he knows it or not) is testifying of God.
Rev 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
So you say his attitude stinks... my dear his confession could lead to his deliverance.

Cherub (former Bijouxoxo) said...
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Cherub (former Bijouxoxo) said...

I agree totally with what y'all have contributed. To reiterate what TLOASCM said, i believe ur actions more than anything should show people that of a truth, this one has been set apart for the Lord. Even though they may know nothing about the Lord, they should be able to look at u and know there's something different.

To add to what Miguel said, if the gay people can have their annual parade, walking naked (i heard) in Manhattan NYC, without being ashamed, then it's not an overkill to proclaim Christ in all that u do.

I'll use myself as an example. I'm in no way tryna boast, 'cos i realize that if not for the Lord's mercy and grace, i wonder what would've become of me.

In my family now, they know things i would or wouldn't do. When my London Aunt's coming she buys clothes for my sister and I. As she was unpacking (i wasn't there), and she brought out the clothes she bought for me, in unison, my 12 year old cousins said, "She would not wear it."

My friend i went to visit in OH this summer, childhood friend, when his brother and friends were asking him what fun stuff he thinks i would like to do while visiting, he told 'em i don't go clubbing and i don't drink. They later told me and wanted to know the reason why.

More than anything, ur actions should speak for u and match what u believe in.

DiAmOnD hawk said...

hear hear BXO. My sister is the same way...I was just thinking about her recently. I talk to her in a different way cuz i know who she is and I know what she'll go for..and when I step out of line, she's sure to reel me back in

@ Miguel> I understand what you've noted but I still feel sometimes we use in my opinion "over-proclamation" as a crutch. I dont feel I have to validate my belief in EVERY sentence. I guess it's my personal preference. Maybe it shouldnt get on my nerves that people do/like to do that...but it does...cuz i see it sometimes as being facetious

I hesistated about telling one of my best friends something and she kept bugging me about it and I told her I wasnt telling her cuz i didnt want her to give me a "jesus answer"...because you know...I am who I am...struggling to become who God has proclaimed I am and it's hard to deal with that every second of 24/7..i need some breathing space

ABBEY said...

I also agree that actions speak louder than words. I know I become numb to people who carry their religious beliefs on their heads and I'm sure other people do too. Talking to someone is not the only way to minister, I'm sure there are people watching you that you don't even know about that see something special in you. So don't kill yourself over it.

LondonBuki said...

Yup... actions do speak louder than words.

Don't be too hard on yourself, pray to God to give you the courage and the spirit.

In the past few months, I believe I have grown as a christian and I mention church to my sisters and friends and how much I enjoy it. Some people have noticed a bit of a change in me, I consciously don't swear, I try not to bear grudges, I believe I am a better person... I am still working on myself.

This was a really necessary post Girl. Have a great weekend.

Dipo Tepede said...

Bijou,

You really deserve the award that has been given to you by my association of blog readers.

Check out your awards as one of the sites that has inspired the contents on Dipo Tepede.POeT

Congrats!

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TaureanMinx said...

Cool blog. You are not the only one struggling with that. Im catholic and you dont see many catholics witnessing, we do it a more subtle way and let ppl make up thier minds for themselves through our words and actions and even then we get sidetracked and behave inappropritely. The key is to keep [raying and keep trying. Don't beat yourself up about it, just be open to Gods little suggestions. U'll feel better for it.

TaureanMinx said...

4give the spelling errors, too much in a hurry

Onada said...

you have shamed me!! i hardly every witness and i know thats a bad thing. Wow at the Chris guy from your school. I definately agree with londonbuki that actions speak louder than words!

Chris Muss said...

the other day, my friend and i went to lunch at a crowded restaurant and she wanted to pray before we ate. i felt really awkward doing it so i didn't take it really seriously. the "if you deny me before men, i'll deny you before my father" part from your entry really made me rethink my actions.

thanks.

Cherub (former Bijouxoxo) said...

Wow thanx guys for ur comments thus far. School's in full swing, as such i've to limit the time i spend on blogger.

LOL @ DH on the "jesus answer".

@Chris: i used to feel shy about praying in a crowded restaurant, but it seems i've overcome that.

@ Dipo Tepede: What award? I clicked on the link and didn't find anything, i'll try again.

Thanx guys.

Dilch said...

Can I just say I loved this post, it really challenged me, I'm going to read it out in my church if that's ok?

Cherub (former Bijouxoxo) said...

That's fine by me, Dilichi.

Bella Naija said...

very relateable post...I have realy grown and strengthed my relationship with God over the last couple of months and I find myself proclaiming it at every opportunity which is very unlike me because I try to be very neutral and politically correct...
anyway, I am proud of the Chris dude...very brave...

NaijaBloke said...

Ms kokoro ewa u no go update ya blog now.

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

My thoughts exactly!!pls update your blog.