I was in a restaurant a few weeks back and there were a group of kids at the restaurant. The kids were there as a part of a group that was having some kind of event (girl scouts, Brownies, or something like that). We were in the restaurant for about 45 minutes as a family. The entire time we were there the kids from this group were running around the joint. On three occasions I saw a kid run into an adult that was carrying food and drinks and caused a spill. The kids were loud and disruptive. Now I have 2 little kids and we have been “the group” at many a public places. So my goal is not to crush these kids or these parents. But as I watched this, I thought their lack of awareness of their actions and how it impacts those around them is a sign of immaturity. And to be honest, somewhat age appropriate immaturity.
But something hit me as I reflected on this. For disciples of Jesus, our awareness and sensitivity (or lack of these) to those in a room reflects our maturity level. There are times to have that talk or press that question, but there are times not to. Does that environment you are in call for more restrained behavior or for you to be more outgoing? Are you aware that your actions could be confusing someone about who God is or helping them? Here are some things to consider regarding our awareness in various environments….
- Should politics be avoided or handled differently based on this environment?
- How should alcohol be engaged based on who is around?
- Am I looking for who is being left out in conversation and pursuing them?
- Are these the right people to criticize tatoos or speak so aggressively against something like abortion with? (Do I know where they are and where they have been?)
- Have I considered what kind of trial or pain they may recently have gone through?
- Is the nature of the environment making others in the group feel uncomfortable?
Great post Keith. There is much wisdom in what you say. We do not want to close the door on opportunities to share the Gospel (verbally or non-verbally) with someone because of something we say or do, which from an eternal perspective, is not important.
This is great food for thought, that we all need! I know I have kicked myself (even recently) for something I said or did that could negatively impact a non-Christian’s view of what Christianity is. Made me sick when I realized it! I hope other proclaimed Christians get the same convinction I do when we mess up. Makes you not want to do it again!
WOW. How pathetic do I feel? As I was reading this, I thought that people probably don’t even know I’m a Christian by the way I act and what I say. Being relatively new in my walk with Christ I am constantly learning and I find great insight in posts like these. These thinking points are very helpful for people such as me as they provide a charge to my Christiam battery by keeping God on my mind and in my heart. Just another example of why I know I’m in the right Church and moving in the right direction. Thank You All !!!