Have you ever been told that you're not allowed to talk about something?
Yesterday I had an interview with an agency. It went alright, I suppose. In answer to some of my questions during one of the interviews, I referred to God. I actually referred to God twice during the interview, so the person said to me, "Since you've mentioned God twice, I want to ask if you have a problem not talking about Him at work?"
The explanation: not because it was a religious thing, but a legal thing.
I was silent for what felt like a minute as I processed what he asked of me. I could have just said, "Sure not a problem." But for some reason I just sat there trying to process what he'd said. I actually chuckled when he asked me that question. He was like, "I'm a spiritual person myself. If that works for you, that's great. And the reason that I mention it isn't about a religious thing, it's a legal issue...."
My thoughts? "How can I not talk about God? He's become such a huge part of who I am..." "You're telling me I can't talk about God in this agency? I worked for a mail order company that sold 'all natural male enhancement products', and I still talked about God to customers whenever I saw opportunities...." "I can't talk about God here? That's really stupid." "I don't know how I feel about that, I'd probably have to pray about it and see what God wants me to do." (Haha)
My words? Although I had several thoughts, the only thing that came out of my mouth was, "That's fine." At my response, he looked at me and said, "You don't look too happy about that." I said, "Not really, but unfortunately it's the world we live in." Ugh! I could not believe I said that. I mean, I may be in this world, but I'm not of this world (John 17:16). How could I sell out like that?
I was told that if I worked there and it came up that I'd been "prosthelytizing" kids or staff, they'd be dealing with a legal issue. I was told that if God was how I dealt with things, that was fine, but that I'd have to keep the process internalized and not vocalize it...wow...
My only thoughts on that were, "I'm sure if I were talking to the kids there about Jesus, they wouldn't use the word, 'prosthelytizing' to explain what I'm doing..."
I mean, I'm not saying all I do now is go up to people and say, "Hello. My name is Patricia. Do you know Jesus? I know Him and you should know Him too!" But if the opportunity presents itself, why am I not allowed to bring God up?
Later sharing this occurrence with Marcus, he reminded me that God is God and He can be glorified in any way. We don't just have to talk about Him for God to be glorified. Man, why didn't I just say that rather than get rattled and say what I said? It's so true. God is God. His word says to "Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10.
I guess I just felt like I sold out because this week in church we went through Acts 3 and 4. In Acts 3, Peter and John heal a crippled man. This man had been crippled for about 40 years and he sat at the temple door begging for money. When Peter and John came along, he asked them for money. Peter told him that he didn't have any money, but what he had was worth more than silver and gold. Then something amazing happened, "Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." Acts 3:6. They healed the man and found an opportunity to share the gospel.
In Acts chapter 4, Peter and John are arrested for this act and for sharing the gospel. Finally when they were confronted by the religious leaders responsible for their arrest, they spoke to them boldly in response to them. Stumped about what to do, the leaders realized they couldn't hold Peter and John in jail, but upon release ordered them not to talk about Jesus anymore.
"And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all [men] glorified God for that which was done." Acts 4:18-21.
They ordered them not to talk about Jesus. Peter and John said no. They still had to let them go, because they couldn't deny the miracle of the man's healing. They couldn't deny what all the people had seen. These people tried stopping God with their laws, but they didn't win. They lost and in the end God was glorified and they were left there (men of intelligence) looking like fools.
People can try to stop God, in all sorts of ways. They can try hard...very hard. But they won't win. God always wins. So I won't open my mouth about God if I get that job. If God wants to do something through me there, His WILL will be done! My prayer is that God would give me the boldness to go into His world and not be afraid to continue speaking about Him. My prayer is that I'd be as bold as Peter and John were in Acts 3 and 4 when the time comes.
I mean, if God is for me, who can be against me? (Romans 8:31) I have no reason to fear...