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Good Witness

July 3, 2018
Photo credit: uniondocs on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

“When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him” (Acts 7:54, NIV 1984).

My wife’s sister had a severe bout of pneumonia recently, and she is living with us for a few weeks while she recuperates. God bless my wife. The two of them are as different as rice and coal. They drive each other crazy, and my wife often is heavily weighed down by her sister’s actions and lack of appreciation. She was crying with me about this one morning recently. I came home that evening and she said she and her sister had talked. “The first thing I said to her was, ‘Do you know that you will have eternal life when you die?’” What seems an abrupt and unnatural question to me, given the circumstances, led to a wonderful time of renewal both of personal faith and of sisterly love.

I am stuck on this idea that the gospel needs to fit smoothly and naturally into the conversation. That’s a great idea and is usually true, but God doesn’t always work this way. I need to be open to His leading when He does not, just like my beautiful wife in a moment of desperation with her sister.

Sometimes the gospel just needs to be shared in a desperate way. Sometimes there is no natural path into a conversation about Jesus, and yet we are convinced the Holy Spirit is compelling us to dare greatly and push forward with the truth. In these moments, if guided by God’s Spirit, we should share our testimony of faith, however uncomfortable. It is then God’s task to pick up any pieces of hostility or injured relationship and mold them into His redemptive purpose.

Of course, most of the time our faith is best expressed in humble authenticity as God leads. But we must be listening if God demands an awkward and even explosive presentation of the gospel, the kind of presentation that got Stephen stoned.

Dear Father,
Let me be bold when your Spirit speaks.

Al Weir, MD

About Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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