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November 11, 2020 1:00 am
Mike & Robby talk about finding common ground when witnessing, and using it as a means of effectively sharing the Gospel with others.
This is Stu Epperson from the truth. Talk podcast connecting current events, pop culture, and theology, and were so grateful for you that you've chosen The Truth Podcast Network it's about to start just a few seconds.
Enjoy it and please share around all your friends. Thanks for listening and thanks for choosing the truth. Podcast network. This is the Truth Network welcome to If Not for God stories of hopelessness that turn to hope.
Your host might swing welcome to If Not for God with Mike Swick today show Mike you have a treat from currently in force at we were.
We were just there and I gotta pull it up so give me a sec, it is first Corinthians chapter 9 and we are we are starting in verse 19.
It's as though I am free and belong to no one. I had made myself a slave to everyone to win as many as possible to the Jews.
I became a Jew to when the Jews did to those under the law I became like one under the law, though I myself am not under the law so as to win those under the law to those not having the law I became like one not having the law, though I am not free from God's law but him under Christ's law so as to win those not having walked to the week.
I became weak, to win the week I have become all things to all people, so that by all possible means I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings and robbing one of the things that you were talking about something about being a salesman. I think most of us are ever in our train salespeople for living, would certainly add to that is a car dealer recognize this passage is what we call common ground so you know most sales trainers are going to do something called the road to the sale and the first step on anybody's Road to the sailors, establish common ground which which is a beautiful thing when you think that Jesus used common ground and establish common ground. In other words, to fishermen. He talked about fish farmers. He talked about forming and soil you know and to women about their dowry or you could hear her always in his parables that he was speaking to people and their culture and things that they thought about and you know what my favorite stories of common ground people is when I had to sell used car salesman. He was the best I and he could establish common ground with anybody almost immediately with two simple questions, and I love the way he did it. His name was Phil Marlon and he would look at the person. Indeed, this was a warm country guy from Tennessee and he he would say where you from here at and the people would say you know I'm from Evan Iran from Winston-Salem or whatever and then he would he would get in with the second question which he looked dead.
Mango originally and then all of a sudden LOL actually I was raised in Colorado and and and I lived. I grew up in Longmont and are you, right there in the face of the mountains knowingly and off he went into this person childhood and within a matter of moments.
He had been back there in a place that was delightful to them and talking about things that they loved about their hometown, whenever that may be of whatever home was, you know, to the person that was from Denver he would become somebody from Denver for a person from Chicago become somebody from Chicago and in other words, he would try to establish a common ground in the relationship with people with with things that they want to talk about and things that they understand in their culture which is different yeah I either one of the things that I think about is as I remember I was in my early 20s and I needed an attorney to help me get out of a speeding ticket and I just remember being really closed off Robbie when I went in instead to the attorney and I remember all the sudden the attorney asked me a few questions before realizing I was talking for like 25 minutes. This guy was my best friend say two words to you other than asking me questions and pushing me and stuff like that the book how to win friends and influence People by Dale Carnegie. He says that how to become a good conversationalist and he says to talk to people about things that they're interested in, and I've heard stories of of missionaries who go into another country and in the first thing that they do is they learn the language of the people in the other country because how you can win people to Christ. If you can't communicate with them. The next thing that they learn as they learn their culture and they learn how they do things in a certain way lady named jungle Jim comes to mind. We had had her on the show and she's been down to the Amazon and and she shows pictures of where she's dressed up like the people down that will sheet it do that just because she felt like doing that at first, although now I think she probably enjoys it. But she did that as a way and she she said the people would come up to her and they say it's really cool that you're dressing up like an end.
People unite as you've probably heard that like attracts like on so people are interested in talking to people who at least have something in common with them and II feel like at the end of the day and in that's what I get from first Corinthians chapter 9. I do this all for the sake of the gospel. It said that will people, people will be able to say yes to Jesus because you know if if they're gonna say no to Jesus.
I you know I wanted to be because they don't like the gospel or they they their willing there, they don't want anything to do with Jesus but I don't want it to be because they don't like me or they don't. You know they felt like I was rude or something like that and I think that's one of the things that he was saying is matter fact that got a quote from Charles Spurgeon and it says that preaching is the most idle of occupations.
If the word of my hearers. If you are not converted, I waste my time and energy and standing here, people might well think it madness that one whole day in the week should be given up here speeches madness.
Indeed, it would be for nothing, nothing would come out of it all, conscience and heart. If you do not bring forth forth fruit to holiness in the end is not everlasting life that I would be better employed in breaking stones on the side of the road than preaching to you in one of the things that I was thinking about was that in order to get to the point Robbie and now is that salesman you're talking about. In order to get to the point where he was talking about his product. First he had to make the person feel comfortable with him and if he wasn't able to make a connection with them. He never would've gotten to that point. Can you think of maybe an example in your life where you were, you know, trying to tell somebody about Jesus are trying to share the gospel and you first, had to overcome that hurdle is common. You know that and I love what Paul says there are things that you would necessarily think about when in the sales training situation but he says to those that are under the law I became as one under the law. And so it what he saying is I'm talking a legalist right and I'm talking to the Pharisees as a Pharisee, even though that isn't my underlying real conviction.
He's not a legalist but he realizes that in order to have a conversation with these people he's gonna get there. The other thing that he said isn't too the week. I became weak and what is that look like well you know I don't family conversations you've had with special needs people but because I've been an old one at a church for years.
You know in order to have a conversation with them, you know, I don't know that what you would call that we is just different, and it's a completely different place that you better go with you and have a conversation from so I tell the story's heartbreaker, but still it story about how arrogant I we had a young man came in.
His name is Josh. Josh was one of the special needs people that was in a wheelchair's is no arms with the size of a small stake him he couldn't hold up his own head. So we had the support your picture in this person probably seen some about this in a wheelchair just skinny, skinny, skinny, they can hold up their own heads. They got support of Ms. wheelchair in order to hold up his head and every time I would begin to teach especially when I got to the parts I thought were important. Joshua would begin this moaning. It was actually pretty disturbing and it would never cease that like right when I thought I was posted. You know, everybody gets distracted to begin with because the lot more autistic and it takes nothing to distract. So here you are, and then here comes John forgot I saw was actually quite frustrated every time his mom would come in because I thought the Joshua wasn't getting anything. I assume that Joshua was just miserable and he was screaming that way moaning because he was miserable. It sure sounded like at and his mother would say Joshua just loves his class.
He will, he could hardly wait and I'm thing what it can hardly wait till he comes to this class and my your your reading something with this that an adjusted matter because this does not look like pleasure to me in any way shape or form.
I'm not seeing that. So every Christmas we would have Christmas party and we were kind of get the parents there and show what we are learning we are doing these hand signs. Walk through the Bible and even those who are not verbal in autism or dancing or whatever, can still do the hand signs is really wonderful thing to see an end.
You can see these people you know my friends worship God in a way that only they can worship God in the end, and in I don't know what I'm saying being, which is just being there with them and their culture so that you can reach them for Christ.
It's a perfect example.
So in order to do our big thing in his usual right in my big moment and I start to say okay okay guys, here we go, and I start doing hand signs and course Joshua Allen, not now about here.
This is horrible and Josh was mom says Joshua, it's not your turn at and if there was ever a moment in my life where I wanted to crawl under the chair and go. Oh God I am so arrogant as cannot believe what you've done here you showing me the got Joshua just was wanting to participate with what he could participate. He knew he could make noises and I'm like I can't believe I've done this. I just felt low low low low low low and Josh will immediately hush.
This is mom said that we went through and well that was on a Saturday night at the Christmas party Sunday morning classmates again and if we begin the class. I said okay I have been just totally arrogant and just no clue what's going on in life and so Joshua, it is your turn buddy. You tell us what you want to share with us and he served off. I get off he went in and and for quite some time.
I didn't want to my Mike got sure you keep going you tell us whatever it is that you have to tell because clearly we have not let you talk and you want from that class. Forward Joshua never did that again as an interrupt. He did it when we would say okay Joshua, it's your turn and off he will while while he was completely bare and completely aware of what was going on and and he was an amazing young man. Unfortunately or fortunately I you know I don't know, God knows.
About a year later, Joshua went to be the Lord's cannot typically shoot what God did for my heart, and seeing how little I really understand what's really going on in any given situation. So when I when I see that he would become weak to those who are weak when I don't know what that is. As far as strong or weak or whatever but I I get the sense that you just got people that are a lot different than you and to make any assumption that what's really going on. You have some understanding is is which is way off the mark. And that's the message that's a great story in a in in one of the things went went. When you're talking about this and what I'm thinking about it is, is that everybody wants to be important and in need of Joshua. He couldn't, he could have a conversation saying that was his way of right getting getting involved in an and in the it's interesting you know we always talk about, you know.
And God is the only one who can save people were talking about that earlier today but you know, I do believe that God partners with people he works with us. He wants us to be a part of it and when you're saying when when that guy was connecting with people and he was asking them where you from originally, it was a it was a conversation was just him bang bang bang try to sell something in one of the things that I think of sometimes is that evangelism in any in any whatever shape it's in your looking. There is some effort there is some preparation there is some planning.
There is some stuff that we have our part and I think one of the cool things is that is that we can learn to enjoy that. I mean outcome and will will talk about our show beforehand and stuff like that in. I enjoy that. Sometimes this is what you know it in but it was that there was a story of think about this years ago I was I was selling insurance in this particular time. I just I was sort of in a small, probably II wasn't selling as much as I had usually sold and I was sitting in the car and I was trying to figure out what was going on. I said something that came to me and it said that people don't just casually by life insurance, not walking down the road are knocking under some black where is my checkbook insurance salesman and wait for the it doesn't mean it takes planning it takes work. It takes effort it, you know, and in their there is our part that we definitely have to do and so one of the things I was thinking about was that when we're going out sharing the gospel when we are talking to people about Jesus.
When I see him saying in first Corinthians chapter 9 I became like a slave. I became like a Jew is that it took some took some thinking. I mean II know we were talking about before.
I think Timothy was actually was actually circumcised as an adult, and so I guess you could say he had some skin in the game.
Is that right is the first cut is the deepest that you know you really think about that from. From my perspective the difference between making a sale and manipulation is love it it it just is not a word you can take all the skills that were talked about and I can train somebody how to do that make the effort and accomplish whatever goal is for salesmanship.
But if actually the transaction doesn't come out of a point of I really do want to help this person sitting in front of me and I don't want to. Some life insurance policy. I want to protect their families and I don't want to just some life insurance policy. I want them to have some sense of of what they planning for the future and all that and I don't want to sound some, this can hurt them if they can't afford us cannot hurt their budget and whatever and so if I'm coming into this transaction and insert nestled a million cars like that and sometimes tell people why don't you buy this car and sometimes I got one trouble, but it was from a point of I want to help you. I really want to do based on what my understanding is the challenge. There is don't think you understand more than you understand. Because you can see, like most salesman I have a tendency towards arrogance and like I know what's best for you. Well I don't write and so the conversation that needs to take place really is and be understanding completely where you're coming from and what's going on in your life to determine whether or not this is something that we can decide on together is is a good decision and in Christ even more so right. You've heard me tell the story of when Johnny Hendrick came to Christ.
He was a car salesman and I asked God what I say to him, what's the magic because I can't get deeper than skin with this guy mean he won't go deeper in anything right and he said Robbie is a car salesman and Susie said that to me. That was the common ground to see that was this past your car salesman.
I became a car so you and I said Johnny I made a deal with God well for car salesman, a deal is a deal and and and that meant everything to him and so to a car salesman. I became a car salesman and not because I went all first Corinthians chapter known and well it was like I'm praying in God saying dummy down in fear. He said car salesman talk to him from that perspective to a farmer you talk about farming to the fishermen you talk about fishing to a Duke fan you don't talk about, about this target was salesmanship going on right right your you're supposed actually go look at their trade-in see if there's any bumper stickers. I'd rather be fishing. I'd rather be flying you know, do whatever you saw and an even I would teach people talk about the car they drove up in what you like about the car.
What didn't you like about the car it's appointed common ground and you can begin understand what they like in a car with a don't like the car just keep going. You know, you know, what was your favorite thing about that car.
What was do you have a good memory about to commit crime vacationers and people because to a salesman. Quite honestly, your questions are your toolbox to mechanic. He needs to know, seven, eight, and he needs this this and this well to a salesman you need some Socratic method, and you need open-ended questions and you need questions that have multiple choice like is 10 o'clock better through you know we've all been down that there's a there's a toolbox of questions that salesman taught right if used without love is manipulation if used in order to gain trust and understanding and help really know what's going on in order to guide the people what you know about that product is think about you know that stuff about life insurance that your average customer has no clue and is really dangerous place. People take advantage of them all the time) they do when you were saying that Robbie, one of the things that came to my mind was this, we will prepare. We will plan, we will take all these measures so that when were selling life insurance or woman selling cars that we can sell the car. Or we can sell a life insurance policy but you know what if we don't sell that car. If we don't sell that life insurance policy.
I mean, you know, well we get we can always live to fight another day. Maybe somebody also by no big deal.
I think what he said when I'm getting from this in first Corinthians 9 is that you're talking about or somebody can extend their eternal destiny that is available or if this is real life insurance your fire insurance.
It was so much more much more important than it is for sale and so one of the things that I'm thinking of is that it's important that we prepare and that we know where stuff is one of the verses that I that came to my mind was Psalms 119. I believe it was that was verse five, but may not be but it's that your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light on my path I talk to so many different Christians to say what I want to talk to people about Jesus.
But I don't know what to tell him I don't know how to answer this without it the other and so take some time and study the word of God, you know, take some time and in in in studied unity apologetic sending take some time and pray. And for all.
All because body I was going to Jamaica summer before last with teen challenge to speak to a bunch of Jamaicans that were not there in the mountains and we have curriculum that we use You minimal and if you were to look at it. A lot of them have American military frighten battles or whatever, but now I'm going to Jamaica so I'm praying and praying and God says why not use their William Wallace unit.
We have film clips that we use Braveheart's William Wallace and a picture Jesus will what is that look like to the Jamaican history. I mean find their heroes find their George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Whatever. And so there was a guy mean he was like, you know, he literally died. He was the guy that died for his country. That was happen to be a pastor at the time that he lost his life right and so I made all these different slides with use of both the Jamaican color their flag.
But this guy's picture and what it was was completely cut. You know how are they gonna relate to a guy in an American military uniform, but believe me they could definitely relate. I wish I could remember the guys name, but man is when I came out the first break there like you used in our like that they could sense that this was for them. It was custom-made and whether whether it was you or whether it was jungle janitor weather was a missionary. He's willing to learn the language or missionary who is willing to learn the cultures and whatever it is, people see that you took effort to do this if they see that you're taking effort to do this and then at me when you're doing your telling people about Jesus to type. There's no financial gain there or not. It's nothing like diamond but when they see that you're doing this. I think they can see that you really feel that this is important.
I mean this is important you're talking about where you can spend eternity, and in so one of the things that we can do pray pray pray pray pray, read the Bible prepare plan you to think about. Hey, how are some what are some different ways that I can maybe kind of connect with this person or get their attention because this is so so so important so and and God has been training you from the day you you you were born. He's been training you have unique skills. Yeah, he trained me on how to sell, and he was not training me how to sell cars for no good reason.
He was training me how to do that because he knew that that he was actually training the Christian cargo.
In it he trained me in certain business aspects. He trained me in all these different things like that that I found later in life were very specifically I was trained for on social networking for what you know, because it's to use the tube to leverage the kingdom and and so don't fall away from your own story like it is a huge map to where God is taking you because you are uniquely qualified to do things that only you know because you're the guy that's worked in computer programming since you were 10 you know you're the guy that that worked and you know fast food restaurants and and you can speak to somebody in a fast restaurant or somebody with that background, way better than I can throw. You're the guy that's worked with special needs people that are, whatever that is. It was no accident.
Yeah, yeah. And I think probably some people say will Robbie your you're the Christian car guy you got your own radio station so your preaching and stuff like that actually says in Scripture. Not everybody is an apostle, not everybody's preaching. He gives different people different gifts. Some healing some summer apostles, some giving you know some people give him it takes people giving money to the church giving money to the unit and I think sometimes Robbie and you've probably seen this.
It's the person up front at the front of the church is talking, they tend to get the most attention, and it's the guy who's behind the scenes. Maybe the custodian and the church is cleaning up the church or somebody you have people over their house and feed them.
They are not getting the adulation they're not getting the credit, but according to Scripture there important to submit a 70s listening. Hey, maybe your state have not out there preaching or I'm not even out there. You know, even going up and evangelizing, but there is something that they can do right mean there there something in that there something that they probably already do.
And the body of Christ you know says you got noble members and ignoble unit, which means some people clean toilets for Christ at and there's ways to do that they become so attractive that I like you, I want that I want that and where did that come from where that coming from.
It came from from wanting to know that person were to get that love they got it from Jesus insert for Philistine right now I'm I yeah it's if not for God can't, it's if not for God. I mean, you know the in in if were talking about connecting with people and how to win people for Jesus and and there's one thing that we connect connect with you on right now if you're listening that's the fact that were all gonna die is given to man once to dine in the judgment, but we want you to spend eternity in heaven with us right on exactly and it's pretty easy to fact it's it's it's unbelievably easy to just say Jesus wants to come in my heart and wants to to save me. I know that you God for my sake.
I know that you pay the cost for my sins so that I can walk with you in complete innocence and that freedom in you know I want to turn my life over to you live my life for you and please God save me put people in my path and my correction to cycle me and show me more about your word about the Bible that I can serve and walk with you spend eternity together. If you this is the Truth Network