It’s embarrassing to admit, but that is me at 17 years old. I had a ridiculous haircut and a sweet red 1977 Camaro. More importantly, by God’s grace I was already walking closely with Him and was being used by God to make a tangible difference for His Kingdom in my high school. I saw many friends put their faith in Christ while I was a teenager. More recently, though the phenomenon of Facebook, I am realizing that God used my testimony in more ways than I ever knew.
This is the message I received this week on Facebook: “Hi Justin! I hope all is well with you! It’s not often I think about NSHS days, however, if I do, I find myself appreciating your passion for Christ. I knew the Lord but I didn’t start following Him until college and that’s when I started to understand what it all meant. It could have made a real difference in my life and the life of others if I had that knowledge in highschool. All to say, when I look back, I find myself appreciating you and your example. I hope you have a great Christmas and New Year’s!” Truthfully, I do not remember hanging out with this person very often. Still, she was watching my life, and years later she remembered the influence I had on her.
People Are Watching
This was a great encouragement to me because I have been struggling to see much tangible fruit in my missional community. It has been years since I have seen someone in my neighborhood put their faith in Christ. This message reminded me that I may indeed be making a difference without even knowing it.
I remember my senior year at UT when my roommates made our apartment complex our missional community. We built many significant relationships with neighbors and were able to share the gospel with many of them. No one responded in faith to the gospel until years later when my college roommate, Mark, received a call from two of them saying, “We are now walking with God, and wanted to see if you would be willing to disciple us.” Amazing, huh?
I hope you will encouraged, like I was, by the reminder that as you live your life with authenticity and love for Jesus in the mist of your unbelieving community, people are watching and you are making a difference… even if it does not appear that way.