Last weekend I was in a bookstore to pick up book for my wife. It was a fairly pricey book, something she would use for her photography. When the young lady told me the price I winced. I started to write the check and mentioned that I had a discount coupon at home but that I had forgotten to bring it.
She said, “I can help you. I have one here.” When she announced my new total it was a savings of $10.00. I was happy. Before I left the store I went to the information desk and said, “May I speak to the manager on duty?” The young lady at the information desk looked at me suspiciously and said, “One moment please.” In a few minutes a young woman came to the desk and tentatively asked, “Can I help you?”
“Yes, I want to commend one of your employees. She was very pleasant and courteous and went out of her way to help me. I appreciated that and I thought you should know.”
The manager’s look turned into a big smile. “Thank you, she said. I’m glad you called for me. That doesn’t happen very often.” As I walked away I was glad I took the time to encourage another human being. It was easy and fun and it didn’t cost a penny.
Maybe it would be a good idea to keep that in mind when you are trying to influence others for Christ, just determine to be especially thoughtful and kind. Say nice things to people. Go out of the way to be kind and considerate. Genuinely like people. If you don’t naturally like someone, make up your mind to learn to like them, for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom. If you show enough interest in a person you may begin to understand them. It is hard to dislike someone you understand well. And I have learned that it’s a lot easer to learn to like someone than it is to keep putting up with someone you don’t like.
I have a friend who is an especially effective witness. One of the things he does is give tracts to people. Years ago his father found a gospel pamphlet in a restroom in a General Motors factory here in Flint and it changed his life. Eventually his whole family came to know and love Christ because the that tract left anonymously in the restroom. My friend is an busy, successful attorney, but he is not to busy or important to leave tracts wherever he goes. He has introduced many to Christ.
I have often heard him say that when he goes through the fast-food drive-through he will often give a gospel tract with a nice tip sticking out for them to see. Since I heard his story I try to do the same from time to time. It’s fun to see their face light up with gratefulness. It is an expression of human kindness and personal warmth and it must make it a lot more likely that that little pamphlet will be read.
There you have it. Be nice, for Jesus’ sake. You never know, maybe if you make it a habit to go around being nice to people they will wonder why, and when they wonder why you get a chance to tell them about Jesus. It’s fun, it’s free, it’s easy. Anybody can do it.
Riverfront Character Inn
August 15, 2005