The instructor for my Wednesday Bible study could be described with one word: evangelist. Her heart and soul is filled with desire to bring others to Christ, to the point of overflowing. She sincerely loves Jesus like few I’ve ever seen.
I am simultaneously inspired, envious, and saddened at my own lack of the same.
Unlike her, I don’t feel the same pull to evangelize to non-believers. As such, I can’t help but ask why. Am I lacking in my own faith? Am I not focused enough on his voice and his word, so in the end he has no (or little) use of me?
Some of you will be rolling your eyes at me, I’m sure. Me questioning my strength and faith is nothing new, and some of you have expressed (for years), that I’m silly to doubt my faith.
Let me assure you that I don’t doubt my faith. My questions derive from my need to strengthen it. How can I do that if I don’t ask questions and seek out where I’m weak?
So back to my question. Am I lacking in something, because I have neither the gift nor desire to win lost souls to Jesus?
Or do I have neither, because Jesus has other plans for me?
One thing I love about both Jesus and Paul are their surgically sharp use of exaggeration and rhetoric to make a point.
In this case, how Paul describes the Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. Because of its imagery, verse 17 in particularly has always stuck with me: “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?” The first part makes me think of Mike Wazowski in Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.”
Silly imagery aside, it’s the perfect vehicle to make a point, or as Rush Limbaugh used to say, “Being absurd to illustrate absurdity.”
Paul was illustrating the absurd notion that all our gifts should be the same.
Thus proving my own absurdity for believing I (and my gifts) are lacking, simply because my life, gifts and desires don’t mirror others.
So what then are my gifts? What does Jesus intend for me to do if it’s not to evangelize to the lost?
All I can do is ask where my passions point toward instead of where they don’t.
In the simplest terms, I love the Bible, God’s Word. And what I hate is when people (Christians especially) twist scripture to mean the exact opposite of what it says, or when they ignore certain passages in favor of others in order to give themselves license to act a certain way.
That’s not to say I shouldn’t point the lost to Jesus. Quite the contrary. That is the ultimate goal of all within the Body of Christ—of which I’m a part. I’m simply not an evangelist whereby that’s my main and singular goal. Perhaps my job instead is to encourage and help those who do.
So does my passion make me an apologist instead, perhaps even a critic?
I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t know ten percent of what I should about scripture… I know just enough to be dangerous. Yet lately I’ve been in a studious mood both with the Bible study as well as reading non-fiction by those far more knowledgeable about scripture than me.
Or maybe I’m not an apologist so much (at least not yet) as I am a student. Either way, that’s where I belong in the Body as of now (because that could always change). And who am I to argue with God that I’m an ear instead of an eye—figuratively speaking?