Lessons from the Beauty Shop
On 1-7-97, I went to the beauty shop and I left feeling better than I had in previous visits. I believe it was because this time I prayed before, during and after my visit. Good thing too, because my flesh began to well up at one point (see lesson number 2).
Please note that all names have been changed (except mine).
LESSON ONE: JUDGE NOT UNBELIEVERS, SEEK THEIR SALVATION
A male hair dresser was speaking with the young lady doing my hair. She was silent (except for a few uh-uhs) as he spoke. He apparently had gone out on the town the night before with the barber next door (we'll call him Peter):"Peter probably went with me last night just to see if I was going to cheat on Michael.
You know how I called you and told you Michael was out all night? Well, I saw him drive up just as we got off the phone. He asked me if I was mad and if I thought he was cheating on me. I told him yes. He said he didn't cheat on me, but that even if he would have, he would have been careful.
I told him that I didn't care if he was careful--he'd still be dirty. Then he told me that I was the only one for him. That made me feel really good. That made me feel really good."
I looked down at a magazine in my lap occaisionally looking up at this effeminate man who needs Jesus Christ. His speech and body posture showed an insecure, frightened person. After he had finished his say, he scurried back over to his waiting client.
Along with others in the salon, he talked and talked about the next upcoming concert. They laughed and joked with their sexual innuendo. As I sat under the dryer with my Bible open, the Lord pointed out this verse to me:Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
As I continued to think about and pray for these lost people, I Corinthians 5:13 came to mind:But them that are without God judgeth...
We know what sin is, we avoid it, we speak out against it; however, we are not to judge unbelievers in their sin. When the woman was taken in adultery, the people wanted to stone her in accordance with the law, but what did Christ say? "He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone." Everyone left and...John 8:10-11, When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
If Christ Himself did not condemn her, neither should we condemn others. Homosexuality is sin, we never cease to call sin sin. The point, however, is that we are seeking the salvation of the sinner himself, not focusing on his sin in our own minds. Jesus left us in this world so that we can share the good news with sinners, not judge them. When Jesus was here, He was with the people that needed Him, not sitting around "chillin' out" in the synagogue.Mark 2:15-16, And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.
And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
Let us remind ourselves not to judge.
LESSON TWO: WITNESS AS LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
While at the beauty shop, my little 1990 red Ford Festiva automobile was backed in a parking spot right in front of the glass wall at the entrance of the shop. When looking out front you could see all the store-bought and home-made bumper stickers plastered on back.
I did not purposely do this. In fact, as I backed in, I thought about turning my car around the other way when I remembered all the stickers on the back. Nonetheless, since I was already backing in I took it as a sign that I should go ahead and park my car that way. The back of my car reads as follows:-Jesus Christ is the reason for CHRISTmas [12/12/02 note: this article was written a few months after the website began when I was still ignorant about Christmas. Thanks to Angela for pointing this out.]
-Repent or Perish
-Jesus--don't leave earth without Him
-Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31)
-He who dies with the most toys wins nothing (Luke 17:19-31)
-Awana--Christ for boys and girls
As I sat in the chair getting my hair done, a young hairdresser went to the window at the front of the shop and was looking out. She said, "People like that frighten me." I said, "What are you talking about?"
"That red car." as she pointed her finger at my little red tomato.
"That's my car. What's so frightening?" My outer man was trying to well up, calm down Tracy.
"It makes it seem like a person like that is fanatical." She said tentatively, it caught her off guard that it was my car.
"Well," I answered, "some people get excited about looking good, others about going out to a nightclub. I get excited about my God."
Embarrassed, she sat down. I felt bad for her and loved her. I went out to the car to make a few phone calls while my hair dresser ate her lunch (I was there ALL day). When I came back in the young lady said,
"Tracy, I'm sorry. I hope I didn't offend you, I thought you'd be like one of those people that I have to run away from."
I told her that it was alright. I made an extra-special effort to talk to her so she'd feel comfortable. During the rest of the day and into the night, the Lord gave me several opportunities to talk about the things of Christ. The young lady seemed to disappear for much of it, yet there was a calming affect on the parlor in general.
I thought about her statement, "..I thought you'd be like one of those people that I'd have to run away from." and remembered an incident while out witnessing with a friend:There was a lady we were witnessing to. The Spirit of God was moving good and she was listening. All of a sudden, my friend blurted out, "You want to say the sinner's prayer?"
The lady responded, "I guess." and shrugged her shoulders. My friend then told the lady to repeat the prayer after her. After this "prayer" was finished my friend turned to me and smiled saying, "She got saved." Sorry that the moment had been broken like that, I gave the lady my Bible and told her to read it.
Unfortunately, I didn't have the courage to tell my friend that what had just happened was not repentance unto salvation. She barged in and had that lady repeat a few words. Knowing Jesus is not an abra-kadabra proposition--saying the "sinner's prayer" does not save. The person must be repentant (willing to turn from sin unto God) and they must believe on Jesus Christ as the Lord of their life and their Saviour from sin.
We oftentimes get so wrapped up in "getting people saved" that we are doing just the opposite--driving people away like the lady at the beauty shop. God has given me the privilege of leading a number of people to Jesus Christ. There is no experience like seeing a person come to faith. But our goal is not to have people say a few words and have a false hope. Our goal is to see true repentance and the change that comes from having Jesus Christ living inside of your soul! We want to make disciples of Christ. We want people to read the Bible, pray, go to church, do good works, rear Christian families. We are not giving the full counsel of God when we try to "microwave" salvation.
Have you ever met someone that claimed to be a Christian, yet they are uninterested in talking about Jesus, they curse, tell lude jokes, don't go to church, know nothing of the Bible, flirt, and party after work? Dearly beloved, these things ought not to be. When witnessing, we need to tell the full story so people will know how to live as a true disciple. When witnessing, we speak as directed from the Lord; however, there are some basic facts that need to be included:
-We have all sinned (Romans 3:23)
-The wages of our sin is death--physical (the grave) and spiritual (hell) (Romans 6:23)
-God doesn't want us tortured in hell (Ezekiel 33:11)
-Jesus died in our place (Romans 5:8)
-If we 1) repent of our sins 2) believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead, and 3) confess Jesus Christ, we'll be saved (Romans 10:9)
If a person gets saved as a result of our witness, we must tell the rest of the story which is discipleship- -growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. (We should also be willing to make a personal commitment to disciple this person that just got saved. I understand that this is not always possible, but we still need to support them e.g., in prayer, phone calls, etc.) Tell them:-Once saved, you've entered into a new relationship with God. He is no longer your enemy, He is now your Father and you are free to get to know Him. Shun sin and walk in His light.
-You need to be baptized as a first step of obedience
-You need to read the Bible everday so you'll know the truth and how to live
-You need to go to a Bible-believing church
Please, please, don't go around talking without being led by the Spirit of God. You end up trying to coerce people to say "the sinner's prayer" in your own strength which is powerless. A person has to want Jesus for themselves. He is Adorable, Wonderful, Mighty, Strong, the Everlasting God--everything that any sane person would want. And He wants those that will love Him. He loved so deep and so strong that He laid down His glory for each of us. Jesus can do anything and He is all that can be desired.
God was glad when I got saved. But in keeping it in perspective I didn't do God a favor by getting saved, I did myself a favor. By His Spirit, I traded death for life, darkness for light, night for day. My grandmother told me in 1991, "God don't need us, we need Him." (see Psalm 50) Christians need to stop going around acting like God is so pressed and start telling it like it is--if you don't repent and believe, you're going to hell. If you do repent, you've got eternal life dwelling within you and death holds no power over you.
A few lessons from the beauty shop. Beloved of Christ, please pray for me.
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