I asked my son-in-law to write a guest blog entry for you fishers of men. He’s one of the most passionate witnesses for Christ I know.
Several months ago I was moving furniture with a good friend. I knew that he was a strong “fisher of men”, but that day I saw just how skilled a fisher he truly was. As we were lifting a hefty couch up a flight of stairs the phone in his pocket began to ring. We sat down the couch and he answered. It turned out to be a group of teenage boys prank calling. He chuckled and told them to have a good night.
A few minutes later the phone rang again. The boys were back. He kept his cool and responded with kind words before hanging up once more. Moments later we were lifting a delicate piece of furniture when the phone rang again. It was the boys…again! At this point I was thinking, “Give me the phone and I’ll put the fear of God in them in a way that will make them never call back again!” My friend picked up the phone and asked them what their names were. They made up silly names, which he graciously used. What happened next stunned me. He began what would be nearly a 15-minute conversation in which he shared the Gospel with the boys.
In 1 Corinthians 9, the apostle Paul tells the church that he had full right to ask them for support in exchange for sharing the Gospel truth with them. However, he explains in 1 Corinthians 9:12, “If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.” He did not ask them for resources because he felt it would have hindered the Gospel. Most people would say that my friend had full right to give those boys a piece of his mind! Instead, my friend chose to be gracious so that the door would be open to the Gospel. He made up his mind to put up with anything rather than hinder the Gospel.
If we are going to be skilled “fishers of men” then we must make the decision to have a Gospel Perspective. We must see people not for the offense they have made against us. Honestly, people who don’t know Jesus should offend us from time to time because they don’t have any reason not to. We have to see people as in need of the Gospel and then act in a way that will open the door to God’s truth, no matter the circumstances. “Fishers of men” don’t curse the fish for not being more cooperative. They are patient and wait for good opportunities.