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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

My first job out of college was as a public accountant. The recruiters for public accounting firms are outstanding at what they do. They sell you on THE GOOD experience you'll get learning in a variety of different types of environments. They are honest about THE BAD side; mainly countless hours and weekends spent in the office. What they don't prepare you for is THE UGLY fact that you will have to deal with resentment, to varying levels, every day you set foot into a client's location.

At no time is the level of resentment higher than at the start. The dynamics of an audit called for me, a 21 year old newbie, to pose "how" and "why" questions to a guy, let's call him Bob, whose been doing accounting for 21 years. More frustrating to Bob and his company is the fact that these green newbies carry a billing rate of about $200 per hour. While paying an accounting firm significant coin for the hassle of explaining things to some kid who's barely old enough to legally drink can be a sore spot with Bob and his company. The true source of his resentment, however, is WHY he has to explain his processes to me in the first place.

Simply stated, I am there looking for Bob's mistakes. I scour all the work he's done for the past year; presenting a detailed report of any error or mistake I find in review. Regardless of how nice I phrase it, and how understanding Bob may be; it is always disparaging to to hear someone tell you that you are wrong. It is an exceptionally hard pill to swallow when you feel that the person attempting to correct you is not qualified, or any closer to the truth to dismiss what you have done.

The conferences and confrontations that arise from audit findings are never pleasant. At the same time, I had an obligation to to say, "This is the way". Regardless of how unpleasant it made Bob feel, or whether or not it bought about change; It was my job to to show the way. Even though I no longer perform audits for a living, I still carry an obligation to say, "This is the way."

After his resurrection, Jesus commissioned those who follow him to spread his teachings. In the gospel of Mark, he goes as far as to tell us that those who believe will be saved and those who don't will be condemned. Those are his words as the bible reports them. It is what he has ordered his followers to teach.

The problem is that not everyone believes that there is just one way to get to heaven. There are many different ideas and theories about heaven and hell. Many believe that heaven is the destination of many roads. So when one group of people comes out and says, "The only way there is, is the way we are going", it's seen as arrogant and snobby.

As a Christian I actually understand that sentiment. I understand how people can feel disrespected when I share what I believe from the bible. I understand how it can be seen as disrespectful. It presents a challenge for me as a Christian because I don't intend to disrespect anyone. It would be so much easier for all involved for me to keep my mouth shut, and let people believe what they already believe.

The problem is this... The foundation of my faith is that a perfect being referred to in John as The Word, but later named Jesus left his place with God and became human because of his love for me. Jesus walked this earth for 33 years to lay a foundation for his followers because he loved me. At the end, he allowed himself to be killed for those he loved by those he loved because he loved me. He did all this so that I could have a father and son relationship with God. Being a creation of God doesn't mean you're automatically a child of God. It's because of the things that Jesus did out of love for me that dictate that my only concern is not to disrespect Him. He says, "If you love me, keep my commandments."

That's the essence of Christian witnessing. It's not about trying to disrespect anyone else's beliefs. However, I disrespect Jesus and what he did by saying, "There are other ways." If I don't say anything I'm disrespecting the one I believe in. The only way to show respect to Jesus is to proclaim what he has done. When a Christian tells you that Jesus is the only way to get to heaven, the focus isn't to disrespect you as an individual. The purpose is to show you love by pointing out the path that we, whole-heartedly believe is the one destination to heaven. The purpose is to show Jesus respect by obeying what he has commissioned us to do. The purpose is to give God glory by testifying as to his grace and mercy.

So if you're not a born again Christian, the next time a person tries to witness to you, don't feel disrespected. He or she is only working on commission.


Written by: STU

10/14/08

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