Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Best Compliment I Ever Got

One of my favorite ministry sites is with an organization called Youth For Christ. The specific area I'm involved with is called Campus Life, and mainly consists of relational ministry with high school students. What I love about the ministry is that most of the witnessing that occurs happens naturally through life-on-life interactions.

Well, in one such time, we took a group of students to see The Avengers. (I'm going to say that since I love explosions and super-heroes, this movie was an easy A in my book.) Afterwards, we were hanging out with the students at our local Mickey D's. Everyone was having light conversation when one of the students thought he'd tell me a joke. Nice, right? Turns out it was an inappropriate joke about women.

Now, whenever someone tells a joke that needn't be said, I always try to reflect that I don't like that kind of thing without making the other person feel like a toolbag. And, with this particular student, he already knew that I had a high amount of respect for women, having discussed virginity, purity and the like with him in the past. Well, as we were sitting down and eating, our interaction looked a little like this:

Student: "Hey wanna hear something?"

Me (innocently): "Why, sure, young fellow!"

Student: (Insert inappropriate comment.)

Me (with a glare): "You're going to jail."

He proceeded to laugh uncomfortably and I chuckled at the whole situation. A few moments passed by, and he followed it up with this jewel of a comment:

"You have too much respect for women."

That, ladies and gentlemen, was the best compliment I've ever received. It was like the student hocked up a diamond out of his lungs and handed it to me, dripping wet with all the glory of a newly birthed jewel. And before you ask, yes - it was just like that. Pretty much to a tee.

My question is, why don't we, as Christians, get "insults" like that all the time? Paul says, as an encouragement to his disciple Timothy, "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." (1 Tim. 4)

If we, as young believers, are supposed to set the bar when it comes to the way we live in front of others, shouldn't the world, which has a much lower standard, look at us and marvel at the heights at which we live?

Yet, all too often, we blend right in. We talk the same way, make the same jokes, treat others with as much disrespect, and generally live in such a way that makes us indistinguishable from the people we're trying to witness to! Why on earth would they want what we have when we live just like they do? Now, I'm not saying to live like a holy-roller and be snobbishly unrelateable, but simply to make it a point to let your actions be "above reproach." (1 Tim. 1)

Just sayin'.


I liked this post. From one Nathan to another, this was encouraging and challenging. Thanks :)

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