the weblog of Alan Knox

Where do you hang out?

Posted by on Nov 11, 2008 in blog links, discipleship, service | 8 comments

Mary at “One Thing is Needed” asks the question “Where Would Jesus Hang Out“? She found herself in a social club/bar listening to a friend’s performance. She saw the kinds of things you might expect to see in a bar. She said that she was not sad to leave, but then she had a thought:

Then I remembered that Jesus would most likely have been quite comfortable last night hanging out with people who were doing and saying things that no respectable church person would ever be caught doing. Why was I so uncomfortable if Jesus would likely have spent the entire evening there? I’m not sure. It seems that I can read about several times when Jesus intentionally hung out with those who made other people uncomfortable…

I may say that I want to be like Jesus, but do I realize that it means loving and being around people the “church” has often rejected, pitied, neglected, ignored, protested against, avoided, hurt, or demanded changed from? People that I’m uncomfortable around? I’m slow to learn, but hopefully I am.

Mary is asking important questions and coming to very important conclusions. If we are going to follow Jesus, then we will be following him into places and circumstances that might make us uncomfortable. But, following Jesus is NEVER about our comfort.


8 Comments

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  1. 11-11-2008

    Alan,

    Real quick. This has been a tense struggle for me, given my background. Because I was heavily involved in drugs, promiscuity, driking and other lewd acts and actually enjoyed them while I was there, I have been really hesitant to submerge myself back into that environment. But the Spirit has been teaching me that most of that is because a lack of trust in Jesus’ words “no one will pluck them out of my hand” and when He prays the High Priestly (coined) He says “I am leaving them in the world but I pray that you protect them from the evil one”.

    So for some it may be an image thing, for me it was both. More fear than image though. But God through His grace has been showing me that if I am to reach those who were of my past then I must engage them on their turf. It is funny that I had no problem and was even grateful that someone snatched me from hell fire, but have not extended the same grace consistently. I have when it comes to evangelizing but really spend time with people in those environments have been really sparringly and I was happy to get outta there as quickly as I could.

  2. 11-11-2008

    Alan

    Would any of the situations Jesus hung out with sinners be the biblical equivilant to haning out in a bar? I mean, I’m just brainstorming here (actually 20% cloudy with a chance of afternoon thunderboomers) but hanging out with someone who drinks, smokes, cusses, and tries to pick up women for one night stands would be different than hanging out with someone WHILE they drank, smoked, cussed, and were trying to pick up a women or two for a one night stand, right?

  3. 11-11-2008

    Hey Alan,

    I hang out in a mobile home park on Thursdays and Sundays preaching Christ and showing the love of Christ. Me and another brother have been ministering to the “least” desirable in our city and it has been the greatest blessing.

    Joe,

    We should not actively participate in someone’s sin(picking up girls for one night stands). Yet I sit with people on a weekly basis who are unbelievers who smoke and drink and ask to hear about the Gospel and the Scriptures.

    I had commented on Sunday that we must remember Jesus Christ comes to men and women while they are in sin and gives them life. We have this underlying perception which has impacted our evangelism that a person must have already quit a “unknown” number of sins and then we can go to them. I am not saying you are affirming this, but it is an underlying thought prevalent which has produced a “come and see” mentality and not a “go and tell” mentality.

  4. 11-11-2008

    Lionel,

    I can think of no one better that can help someone than someone else who has lived through the same thing. However, you should definitely be cautious. Find someone that you can honestly talk to if you find you start desiring to live that way again.

    Joe,

    Jesus was known as a drunkard and a glutton. He also provided wine for a wedding party after the party goers had already drank… alot.

    Phillip,

    I’ve been following yours and Steven’s blog for a while. Keep up the good work!

    -Alan

  5. 11-12-2008

    Alan,

    Thanks for the encouragement. My post was about why I was uncomfortable in this particular situation. I still am thinking about it and appreciate yours and others input.

  6. 11-13-2008

    “NEVER about our comfort”? That’s too bad, because I’ve felt more comfortable hanging, for example, around the black sheep of my in-laws’ family than with the steady churchgoers; with the ones that used drugs (some having done jail time for such), smoked, had illegitimate kids, etc. They’re the ones these particular Christians (we) hung out with. I don’t think it was anything spiritual on my part; we just had more in common with them. I used to take them to neighborhood parks to play hide-and-seek…

    Anyway, I guess we should have mingled with the others instead, though, since we weren’t supposed to be comfy…

  7. 11-13-2008

    amateur,

    I didn’t say that we would never be comfortable when following Jesus. I’m often comfortable when serving people. Instead, I meant that our comfort is neither a prerequisite nor a given.

    -Alan

  8. 11-13-2008

    Jesus came to heal the sick, Joe… I think he would find that one for sure and hang out with them.

    Lionel, I wonder if you may be just the person for the task – I’m thinking 2 Corinthians 1:3-5.