Prayer Challenge

I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said to me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You, God, are Holy. Your word is the truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Does Where You Eat Impact Your Witness?

Is There A Difference? 

Where do you go to eat? There are so many choices: At a gastropub, a sports bar and grill, a fast food restaurant, a bistro, a cafe, a diner, a fine dining restaurant that offers drinks with the meal, an ethnic restaurant with or without drinks, and the list can go on. Is there a difference between a restaurant with drinks versus a bar with food? Let's start with the definition of a restaurant vs. the definition of a gastropub.

According to and Merriam-Webster Online:

Restaurant is an old French word (1827) that means "food that restores." Today, restaurant means a commercial establishment where meals are prepared and served to customers.

Gastropub is a term that came into use in the early to mid 1990's. Today, a gastropub means a pub, bar, or tavern that serves good food and high quality alcoholic beverages.

Are You an Evangelist?

As a follower of Jesus Christ, have you ever thought about the impact that eating at a restaurant, or a gastropub  has on your witness? All Christians are lifestyle evangelists whether they realize it or not. Lifestyle evangelism is simply living in a way that makes it obvious that you are a follower of Jesus.

People are watching you inside and outside of your home. You are being watched by your family, your friends, and members of your community. Human nature, curiosity, or a tendency to people watch causes us to watch the actions of people who surround us. Again, my question to you is, "How does where you choose to eat and/or drink affect your witness as a lifestyle evangelist?"

OH No!

My decision of not eating at a gastropub, or an establishment that focuses on liquor, began to take shape after the following incident.

A thrift store opened up in my hometown next door to the local sports bar and grill. Now, thrift stores draw me in as a magnet draws iron shavings. Quickly, I began to park my motorcycle in front of the thrift store, that was next door to the sports bar and grill on a weekly basis. (I take my motorcycle so I can't buy too much!) After several weeks went by, a casual acquaintance at the grocery store said to me," I saw your motorcycle parked at the bar." My response was, "What?" then I laughed and said, "OH no, my motorcycle was parked at the thrift store!" The casual acquaintance's face brightened in relief at that information and they laughed along with me.

Stop It!

I can hear you thinking that the acquaintance was a busy body. Stop it! A valuable lesson was given to me at an important time in my walk with the Lord. My journey in a motorcycle ministry was just beginning when this incident happened.

Simple Choices Have a Large Impact

The incident also showed me how quickly people would believe the worst about me based upon a false appearance. Avoiding the appearance of wrongdoing became important to me. I started parking my motorcycle in the side parking lot between the thrift store and the newspaper office. A simple choice, with a large impact on my lifestyle evangelism, was made. Where I eat at underwent a similar revision.

Effectiveness vs Appearances

Being an effective witness and lifestyle evangelist for Jesus Christ is important to me. I ride my motorcycle wearing a vest that has a picture of a hand clasping a bible on the back. I do not want my witness impacted by eating at a gastropub,or other establishments, that focus predominantly on alcoholic beverages and food. I do not want someone who has heard my testimony saying, or thinking," I saw her at the bar and grill. She is no different than I am! I do not need her Jesus." It is important to me that I avoid the appearance of wrongdoing, or placing a stumbling block in front of someone else.

Examine Your Choices

I am not writing this article because I think followers of Christ should not drink, or that drinking is wrong. My reason for writing this article is to make you aware of how your lifestyle choices affect your witness as a follower of Jesus Christ. Again, I am not saying drinking is wrong, or that Christians cannot drink. I do want you to look at your beliefs about drinking and eating establishments and the impact it may, or may not, have on your lifestyle evangelism. All Christians are lifestyle evangelists.

21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

3 giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, 4 but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses,…
2 Corinthians 6:3-4

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Thank-you for stopping by and visiting today. SalleeB