When Christians Say (and Do) Dumb Things

via Bill Peel
February 15th, 2013

Have you ever considered how your words and actions influence the way people view Christianity? Every day, by what we do and say, we either draw or repel people to the truth. That’s easy to forget when we’re dealing with an annoying coworker or difficult client. Unchecked frustration often yields unkind remarks, but here’s the reality:

Every interaction we have with every person is spiritually significant.

Let those words sink in for a minute. This means that during the course of our daily work, we have many opportunities to pull people toward Christ—or to push them away.

I confess that when someone knows I'm a follower of Christ, I typically watch my language and actions. But sadly, I don’t always stop to consider the impact of my words when I'm “anonymous.” I’ve been known to make less-than-kind remarks to people in the service industry, such as waiters or airline gate agents. (Surely they deserve a special place in heaven.)  On the last leg of a particularly draining trip, I was complaining vociferously to a gate agent about yet another delay—something she had no control over. About that time my wife, Kathy, walked up and whispered a gentle reminder, “Do you think the agent would be interested to know that you’ve been leading a course on workplace evangelism this weekend?”  Ouch!

Fortunately that embarrassing episode didn’t go viral on Twitter as have others.

As much as I wish this incident hadn’t happened, it served as a wakeup call for me of the impact our words and actions can have on others.

It bears repeating: Every interaction we have with every person is spiritually significant.

So next time you’re about to let loose on someone who’s not meeting your expectations, ask yourself, “Will what I say help or hinder this person’s journey toward Christ?”

We never know when a kind greeting, a word of praise for a job well done, or even a smile might be the encouragement someone needs. After all, we're speaking with a person made in the image of God, someone Jesus thought worthy of dying for. Let's make our words and actions worthy of interacting with such a person.

And, when you’re at a restaurant discussing Christ at your table, leave a big tip. Wouldn’t it be nice for the server to think, Wow! Those Christian people sure are generous!

You’ve just helped that person take one step closer to Christ.

If you're interested in influencing friends and colleagues to consider a realationship with Christ, learn more about "Building Relational Equity for Spiritual Impact." Learn more here.

Adapted from Workplace Grace by Bill Peel and Walt Larimore