by Mike Hellum
So I get the “Last Word” this week. The Last Word is the section at the end of the newsletter that links to this week’s column or blog. That means I have just a few sentences to catch your attention and motivate you to come back tomorrow and read the rest of what I wrote.
Come to think of it, the “Last Word” is a lot like life, and what we encounter every day in our attempts to be a witness to our faith. Just like I only have a few sentences to catch your attention here, I frequently have a short window to catch the attention of others, too. Because of the books I read, people are frequently curious. They may comment at times when there’s not much time for an extended conversation so I’m learning to have a short comment about what I’m reading that invites conversation. Or if the timing isn’t there for a conversation, at least I can get a bug in their head about what I believe, and why it should interest them.
1 Peter 3:15 says we should always be ready to give a reason for the hope that lies within us. On top of that, Jesus says in Matt. 5:13 that we are the salt of the earth. One of the characteristics of salt is that it stings when rubbed into wound; I’m pretty sure that’s not what Jesus is driving at here. He probably meant it as a metaphor for a preservative and a seasoning agent. So not only should we be ready to give a reason for the hope within us, but it should be “salty” (i.e., interesting). Have you ever considered coming up with a brief testimony, an answer that makes people want to come back and know more?
When I read books like the one I just finished reading (one of the New Atheist’s diatribes against God), it stands out all the more clearly the hope we have in Christ. I invite you to come up with a brief and interesting personal testimony that you’re ready to give at all times. It not only makes your life easier, but you’re doing your neighbor a huge favor. Make it compelling, because it is. So did I catch your attention? If you actually read this far, I invite you to stand up and shout, “I believe in Bigfoot, UFO’s, and the reincarnation of Elvis Presley!” But you might want to have a brief and salty explanation of why you did that, too.