Different Strategies

July 25 – Daddy, I Can’t Reach The Towels

3:207 – Daddy, I Can’t Reach The Towels

#faithbites #faithjourney reach

Setting

For as long as my youngest has been showering herself, she always forgets to get a towel. Then she asks me to get one for her. I then tell her she can get it from the closet. To which she responds, she can’t reach it. This story has repeated itself over and over again. Then the other day, my wife made a suggestion of switching what is on what shelf in the hall closet. I took the sheets and put them on the towel shelf and the towels on the sheet shelf. Took me all of 10 minutes. My youngest was excited that she could now reach her own towel. 

Was there a specific reason that the towels were on that shelf on the sheets on the other? Nope, just always been that way. Does it change anything for how I put away laundry? Nope. Does it help my daughter have a little more independence? Yes. 

You may be wondering why I am talking about closet organization. This is a metaphor for how we share God’s word. For some people, the way you have always done it works just great: Hold a church service, have people come and commune, and go about their days. For others, you have to look at their needs and find out how best to reach them. 

We aren’t talking about changing doctrine or what we believe in, but how we share it with others. Even the Gospels were written in different tones and styles to reach different groups of people. 

Are you willing to try something new to bring people to the family?

Scripture
  • Matthew 10:5-6These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans,  but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
  • Luke 12:11-12“And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.”
  • Romans 14:1-4Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.
Reflection

Respecting differences is important to knowing and loving our neighbors. In our Matthew verses, we see Jesus giving his disciples specific instructions on who to share the gospel with and later on how to do it. He isn’t saying that the Gentiles or Samaritans weren’t important or shouldn’t hear the good news, he was giving specific instructions on how to get the message to the lost sheep of Israel. 

In our Romans verses, we see that people live differently and have different likes, dislikes, and beliefs. We shouldn’t criticize how people live when we are trying to share the Gospel. It also won’t work if we condemn them while trying to build a relationship. It doesn’t work. Through the Holy Spirit, as we see in our Luke passage, we will find the right words to defend and share Christ. 

This isn’t saying that you have to abandon what works when reaching those around you. Rather, we need to be creative and innovative, when trying to reach people who have different backgrounds and experiences. Just like my daughter can now get her own towel, if we make minor changes in our approach, others can reach the Lord.

Challenge

Have you tried to share how Jesus has impacted your life and been unable to reach someone? Is it due to your approach? Try something new. Reach out to others and ask for new ways to approach that person. Often building a relationship first, then slowly opening up about your faith works better.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us that we are all created differently. Your children aren’t a one size fits all creation. While you want all of your children to know you, one approach won’t work for everyone. Help us to be creative and find new ways to reach those that don’t respond well to traditional methods. Help us to know when we aren’t the right messenger for a given person. Let us be flexible in how we share our experiences and your word. We pray all these things in your name, Amen.

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