Give in to the Urge
Reading: 1 John 1-5
The introduction to this letter reminds me of a little kid with a secret that he just can’t wait to tell. The adults are busy doing whatever it is that adults do, and this little kid is tugging on the back of dad’s coat and clinging to mom’s leg to get their attention. He has something to say and if he doesn’t say it soon, he’s just gonna BURST!
He’s had an experience that he can’t wait to share, and everything else has faded into insignificance. FINALLY, his mother and father stop to listen—perhaps more in frustration at his insistence that anything, but at least they stop to hear what he has to say.
“Little” Johnny says: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared, we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete” (1 John 1:1-4, NIV).
He saw it. He touched it. He knows it works. And he can’t wait to tell anyone who will listen all about it. Isn’t that how every believer should feel about his experience with Jesus, the Word of life?
But the statement that most strikes me is, “We write this to make our joy complete.” I might have said, “I write this to make your joy complete” because I want you to know the Saviour the way I know the Saviour. I want you to be joyful because of the new life you have found in Christ. But John’s joy seems to come from simply sharing what he knows and has experienced personally.
A child might be disappointed when his parents go back to whatever it was that was so important before they listened to what he had to say. But the “busting” has been relieved. He’s told them what he wants to tell them. He’s done what every instinct in him was driving him to do.
For the believer, the instinct that drives us to share what we know about Christ, is strong. We look for opportunities, or “tug on a few coattails” to make some opportunities. We can’t NOT share. And regardless of the reaction we get, once that dam has burst we can go away feeling the joy of the Lord because we've let it all hang out.
If just sharing Christ with someone brings joy, how much more joy can we anticipate feeling when that person responds favourably to the message?