utes of consciousness before he passes out. Let me hear what you would say in that two minutes.” When the moments we have to wit ness to others are so brief and fleet ing and may never be renewed, a word of testimony is perhaps all we can give. But when people open their hearts to us and really invite our help, it is important that we pierce to the very center of their need. However, this may not be easy as they may deliberately seek to con ceal it, or they may be honestly un- aware of it. It is very common in human na ture to complain about circumstances and frustration and avoid talking about personal sin. The fact is we must learn to strip away every dis guise of the real trouble. There is usually little doubt when it is found in the white light of God’s holiness, and sin becomes something of which we are conscious. It was not Jesus who talked about sin at the table of Zacchaeus, it was Zacchaeus him self—uninvited he babbled about his sin. Things hid from the world for half a lifetime poured out from his mouth. He knew that he was really wrong when he faced Christ, and men do still. Our work is almost fin ished when they have come face to face with Him. They only need our help to get their real problem ex posed. TH E KING'S BUSINESS
loves even where it cannot like. This is a gift, of course, and a gift from God. It is His indwelling Spirit given in answer to constant prayer.
1. Lire at the center yourself. Fail here, and you have nothing to give. Fail here, and if you go on talking about Jesus you will give the sweetest thing on earth and in heaven a bad name. To talk about Christ when He is plainly contra dicted by your life is a wound to His body. But live at the center, guard your periods of quiet with God and all your work is made easy; you will not constantly have to try to make contact with others, people will often make contact with you. One of the finest fruits of living near the center yourself is the uncommon discern ment you will have of other people’s need. He who tries to do people good stands knocking at the door, but he who loves finds the door open. You know yourselves how much you re sent being stalked by someone intent to do you good. Who is he anyway, you think, to imagine that he can do me any good? Perhaps I could do him some good! Ah, but you know very few people can resist genuine Chris tian love. Love people with supernat ural love, and love which does not run along lines of mere affinity, but 12 2. Don't try to do people good; love them.
3. Develop skill in making contact.
There are many ways of making contact, and doing a kindness is one of them. But as a Christian you cannot serve simply to get people to think as Christians think, and if you cannot do a kindness, you can ask one. That is how the Lord began dealing with the woman of Samaria. He did not give her a lecture on morality. He established contact by saying, “Would you mind giving me a drink?” When he met Zacchaeus He did not address him on the sin of covetousness, He invited himself to lunch. There are many ways of making contacts and skill grows with practice.
4. Discover the person's real need.
One of our senior chaplains in the last war submitted all those under his command to a number of gruel ing tests. One of them was that he would take his watch out of his pocket and say, “ Imagine you have a dying man here who has two min
Made with FlippingBook Online document