I passed a Mennonite family this morning on my way to school.  I am making an educated guess they were Mennonite and not Amish because most Amish do not drive but most Mennonites do.  The car was black with the chrome painted black so they didn’t appear flashy.  I wondered as I passed them if they thought they were “witnessing.” I wondered that from my many encounters with other conservative Christians who refused to eat something they were offered and they told me by doing so they were “witnessing.”  Is “witnessing” showing what we don’t do or could “witnessing” be better done by showing what we do, like being kind, generous, helpful and empathic?  Jesus once said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13

If Mennonites proselytized, I wonder what they would say to convince me to join with them.  Would they give me a list of things I couldn’t do anymore?  When we evangelize do we tell people things they can no longer do?  Or is there a way to convince them that life will be better if they join with us?   Or do we only offer something after death with nothing for the present?  I am not discounting an eternal life of growth.   That is wonderful to look forward to.  But do we have anything to offer today?

I think we do.  I could wax eloquent about the psychological benefits of forgiveness.  Not only is it grand to know we are forgiven but also the benefits of forgiving others is downright fabulous.  We sleep better.  Our digestion is better and our dispositions are better when we no longer harbor ill feelings about others.

That’s just a sample.  Yes – we have a lot of positives to offer.

Written by Roger Bothwell on October 16, 2014

Spring of Life , PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574