It is Wednesday, which in the world of this girl means:
Work - 9am til 3pm
Bible Study - 6pm til 9:30pm
Going out with friends - 11pm til the cows come home (no, not us girls...it's just an expression.)
The part I'd like to focus on is Bible Study. I love it, it's a highlight of my week. But I always get anxiety because we sit in a corner of a Starbucks and because it is such a highly visible (and also quite audible) location, I spend quite a bit of time worrying about how we seem to the general public.
Please don't misunderstand me. It is not an embarrassment like, "Oh dear, we're praying in public...people might know I'm a Christian" sort of thing. I've been a believer long enough, I would hope that I am past that. No, it's more like, "We're on display. We are being obvious Christians. Should we be more intentional about the things we say and do?"
Is that fake? I'm not sure. As followers of Christ we are called to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), and it goes on to say that a city on a hill cannot be hidden. And so it goes, a bible study held in the middle of a corporate coffee icon also cannot be hidden. I'm always thinking:
1. Can people hear us?
2. Are they listening?
3. Are they laughing/scoffing/judging/what-have-you?
4. Are we saying anything that would be a bad witness?
5. Do we have our theology straight?
We have had Catholics come up while we were discussing the idea of purgatory. We have had Lebanese Christians come up while we were discussing the situation in Lebanon. We have had meaningful interaction with these and other people who seem to be interested in what we are doing, and so I don't think it is strange for me to be conscious of how we appear to the general surrounds.
And then there is the thought (brought up by the leader of our Sunday class): For all the time we sit in that corner, are we buying/tipping enough? Are we leaving our trash around? Are we friendly with the staff? You can't hold a bible study in a public place and then leave your rubbish lying around afterward! It might sound silly, but who wouldn't take that opportunity to make a comment about Christians in general? If I weren't us, I would certainly bash us for doing that!!
I suppose the point of all this is that we need to be on our guard at all times, and in all things, perhaps even things that seem as small as noise level in a public place, littering, language, etc..
Consider 1 Timothy 4:16
"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."