Even Misrepresentations Can Advertise Truth
SERVANTS of God should not be surprised when others misrepresent them and their message. The Christian apostle Peter wrote to fellow believers: “Because you do not continue running with them in this course to the same low sink of debauchery, they are puzzled and go on speaking abusively of you.” (1 Pet. 4:4) At times such talk serves to stir in others an interest in the Bible’s message.
A man from the Republic of Senegal relates what happened the first day on a new job: “I was assailed by intense propaganda from my fellow workers against another man who was not at work that particular day. ‘He’s mad,’ they said. ‘He can’t talk about anything except God and is always trying to turn people away from their religion. Watch out! He’ll try to get you away from your church too.’
“Frankly, I was puzzled. These people didn’t even know me. Why were they all showing me such ‘consideration’ and ‘kindness’? It made me rather curious, and I was anxious to meet this ‘madman’ who was so detested.
“On the morning of my third day of work there I was met by someone I had not seen previously. He was enthusiastic about life. Outstanding were his sunny disposition and disarming smile. He welcomed me with open and outstretched arms. We were to be workmates, he said. He appeared to be perfectly normal in every way. But I was certain that he was the ‘madman’ everyone had been warning me about. Without any other introduction, I said: ‘Why you must be . . .’ Surprised, he said, ‘Why, yes. But how is this possible? Do you know me?’
“I explained that, in a way at least, I did know him because for two days already I had heard so much about him from other workers. Since we had to work together, he took advantage of spare moments to speak to me about the good news of the Kingdom. From the start I told him that I had no objection to his talking but that I wouldn’t change my religion for anything in the world. But by that afternoon the message he preached was sounding better and better. By the following day I had already made my decision in favor of the truth.”