Monday this week… at the gym… in the sauna I met a girl. She told me she was a vegan. Whenever I hear of someone with different eating habits as me, I’m always curious. My follow up is normally, “By conviction or because taste?”
She said when a family member was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer the first words out of the doctor’s mouth were “Don’t eat another bite of meat.” She ultimately made the life change with him, to support him. She went on to tell me how amazing she feels and how great it has been for their family.
This testimony of hers just happened to catch me at the precise time. It impacted me. I walked out and haven’t eaten a bite of meat (or dairy) since. (If you know me.. did you just fall over?)
I wanted to experience what she felt. It’s not the first time I’ve heard eat better, feel better. Probably not even the 100th. And I doubt she set out that day to turn another human vegan. She shared a piece of information, important to her, at the exact moment I was supposed to hear it. It got me thinking a lot about evangelism. And if I truly cared about people–I’d have to share the realness of the resurrection, right?
Wrong. We don’t want to offend. We don’t want to push our “ideals” on someone. We can sit next to coworkers for years and not share our faith for fear of the offense. We don’t tell family we care about how important a savior of our sins is. We let friends be atheists and agnostics and luke warm Christians even though we believe in a real hell all because fear of offending feels crippling.
I’m specific in saying “fear of the offense”. Because seldom, it’s actually offensive. Her eating boatloads of cucumbers didn’t offend me. It encouraged me. And me telling you about a relationship with Jesus, shouldn’t offend because you can go right back to your metaphorical non religious relationships with cheeseburgers or… become a Christian vegan, lol. (Two strikes against me 😂🤦🏻♀️) Fact is, I don’t think anyone is really as hypersensitive as we pretend they are.
Next, seeds grow into stuff. (I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 1 Corinthians 3:6 NIV) Not only was I not offended, despite my poor eating life at the time, I came home and changed. She planted a seed of curiosity and I get to choose to water it or not. I’m in charge of my own research. I made a healthy decision. And then another. And then another. And not because she told me something I didn’t know already–eating good is good. But I saw it lived out for a second and it was inspiring. I saw the benefits. And I wanted some.
It’s a shame we’d keep good things to ourselves. Right?
I hope this doesn’t offend you.