Our job, His job

I read at the end Acts today that King Agrippa was almost persuaded to become a Christian. 

Paul shared the gospel so effectively that King Agrippa’s statement showed what it all boiled down to:

It was a choice. 

King Agrippa wasn’t confused about anything. He simply made a choice to decline the offer. 

The reality is that we all have a choice to make when it comes to Christ. 

No amount of arm twisting or beating people over the head with a Bible will convince everyone to accept God’s free gift of salvation. 

Of course, the goal is always to see others come to know Christ. Their eternity is at stake!

We’re all called to share the gospel with the world. The Great Commission given by Christ Himself is not to be ignored. 

Just remember that the choice to accept Christ is a personal one. Our job is to share the gospel and to pray. 

The Holy Spirit’s job is to work in their hearts. 

Don’t confuse your job with His or confuse behavior modification with true relationship. 

Paul told King Agrippa it was his hope that he be saved. At the end of the conversation, though, King Agrippa made a choice. 

Paul never spoke with him again (that we know of) but he knew that King Agrippa understood the gospel message. 

We all have friends and family who are almost convinced. They’re sitting on the fence because of doubt and unbelief. 

Keep praying!

Keep looking for opportunities to talk about God. 

There’s too much at stake for us to give up so easily. However, we can’t forget that the choice is not ours to make for them. 

No longer a victim

Sometimes I miss the walls around my heart.

This statement might shock you, but it’s true.

Many years ago, I watched a documentary about Patty Hearst. She was kidnapped at age 19 and a few months later was helping her captors commit crimes.

Seems kind of crazy, right?

Instead of being freed from her captors and returned home, she was thrown in jail. The case led to a long discussion about Stockholm Syndrome, which is when a victim begins to have positive feelings toward his or her captors.

The consensus was that Patty Hearst deserved her punishment, but President Jimmy Carter eventually pardoned her.

This brings me back to the walls around my heart. It’s easier for me to disengage than to risk pain. My dad and stepmom call me out on it all the time.

“Audra, you know what to do. You always have a choice.”

The gap between knowledge and action trips us up all the time.

  • You’re a diabetic who refuses to cut back on dessert.
  • You’re a procrastinator who refuses to turn off the TV or computer.
  • You’re an alcoholic who refuses to leave the party lifestyle.

It’s easier to give in than it is to put up a fight.

The hardest part in my own journey is knowing that personal responsibility still knocks at my door.

IMG_1563If I hide behind walls, I am choosing to hurt someone else.

Even if I didn’t mean to.

Even if I did.

I can’t blame psychology either. Stockholm Syndrome is real, no doubt, but it can’t negate the power of choice.

You and I are not victims anymore.

Those tired, old excuses for poor behavior won’t get us far.