To Care or Not to Care

On occasion we receive a comment to a post that we might not approve for one reason or another. This one we felt was worthy of its own separate post. It was posted under this earlier post.

“I have to admit I find it condescending of you to pray for the waitresses salvation. Did you ask her if she was a Christian? If she is a Christian, she already has salvation so for you to pray for it sounds like you believe you have a ‘better line’ to God than she does.” a blog reader

Quite a few years ago an interstate bridge collapsed near St. Petersburg, Florida. Many cars drove over the top and down into the bay, killing those on board. If only someone would have been able to warn those drivers earlier. But what if the person willing to warn those driving toward the bridge had thought, “They might be insulted if I try to stop them, because maybe they are already aware that the bridge is out and are just going up there to look at the damage.” I’m confident everyone of those people who lost their lives that day would have been grateful if someone had cared enough to try to intervene. Which is worse, quick physical death or eternity in hell?

It is my experience that someone who is truly saved appreciates others who are concerned about their soul. Others who are lost and then become saved are grateful to those who cared and did something to help them avoid eternity in hell.

I expect if we had asked our waitress if she was a Christian, some might criticize us for that. You can’t make everyone happy. We have found that every time we ask a waiter or waitress how we can pray for them that they are grateful we love them enough to actually pray. You might try it. It’s a blessing for all involved.

Steve


“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

62 thoughts on “To Care or Not to Care”

  1. I remember that post and your words convicted me to ask more people, saved or not and whether I know they are saved or not, how I can pray for them. I am always encouraged when I stop by here even though I don’t always comment:-) Thanks Maxwells!

  2. Thank you for welcoming us into your home and lives! Thank you for your encouragement! Let everyone who has been blessed by your words, pray for you to be blessed!

    “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” Matthew 10:14

    Blessings and Prayers,
    Nichole

  3. I too was very moved by that original post and thought the waitress sounded very grateful for your inquiry. It has made me think more about asking even friends and family what they would like me to pray about for them. Why wait for someone to ask us to pray for them, aren’t we all in need of prayer every day?!

    Thank you for a wonderful blog.

  4. Paul prayed for the salvation of his own countrymen: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” (Romans 10:1) How can we do any less? Your example of the terrible bridge collapse in Florida is such an apt allegory of praying for the salvation of the lost. You are right, in our desire to please God we cannot please everyone.

    I admire your courage in responding to the comment, and pray that your response will help the commentor understand your motivation and be encouraged by it.

    Your post was certainly an encouragement to me! May God bless you in your lives and ministry.

  5. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I appreciate the bridge illustration and the idea about asking a waitress we can pray for her!

  6. Dear Mr. Maxwell,
    I, too, appreciate you sharing how you and your family share Christ with strangers. Many of us as Christians, especially in today’s political climate, are afraid to share our faith with others. Are we in sin by fearing man instead of fearing our Almighty God and trusting in His promises? Directly asking someone if he or she is a Christian, especially a stranger, may put a person on the spot or make them uncomfortable. But asking how we may pray for them really shows the love of Christ. It gets right to the heart of that person’s deepest need. Our reward is in heaven, Mr. Maxwell, and we must persevere in this fallen world. Christ has the victory! Be encouraged, brother!

  7. Very convicting. I need more courage to just speak up and ask people.

    Your response to the comment about the waitress was very caring.

    Hope your projects are going well! God bless! Rebecca K.

  8. I remember that post as well, and thought of what a great opportunity to bear another’s burden in prayer. We don’t often eat at restaurants either, so being purposeful about every opportunity to share Christ’s love is wise.
    I have only met your family once, but I have been familiar with your ministry and resources for years and can’t imagine you sharing Christ from anything but love and humility.
    Kim C
    “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”. Galatians 6:10

  9. Steve, I love how you responded to the post with grace! Sometimes we become so easily offended and concerned about what others will think that I think we miss the “big picture”. I’m certain that waitress was encouraged, lifted up and even felt renewed by knowing someone cared enough to ask, and then to follow through and pray for her (I know that is how I feel when someone takes the time to ask and to pray for me)! Keep pointing to Christ — it encourages and reminds me to do the same for others around me!

  10. Hmmmm, I’m not sure you really addressed the point. I think the commenter’s problem was not with you praying for the waitress’ needs but with your assumption that she wasn’t saved. Perhaps that wasn’t your assumption but when I read your original post, I thought the same thing. It sounded to me, too, as if you felt she NEEDED your prayer of salvation when she may already be believer.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    In addition to a request they might have, I pray for their salvation something like, “Lord, if they don’t know you as Lord and Savior, please may you bring conviction into their life and need of a Savior.” I doubt that will meet with everyone’s approval, but that is who we are and what we do.

    We will all stand before God’s judgment seat some day. Let’s spur each other on towards what is pleasing in His sight. Amen?

    Steve

  11. I used to be a waitress, and I know how fatal it can be to tips if the waitstaff argues with the customers. If you ask a waitress if you can pray for her, or if you tell her that you will pray for her, what could she possibly say? “Please don’t; it makes me uncomfortable.” “I don’t like to discuss my religious beliefs with strangers.” “I’m actually an atheist, and this offends me.” How could someone in a service position do anything except be polite and positive about what you say? I’ve had strangers do this to me, and all I can do, for the sake of preserving a pleasant situation, is nod and smile, when what I’m really thinking is something far different. You really can’t have any idea what that waitress, or anyone in that situation, was really thinking.

    I’ve had strangers give me tracts on the street. I usually say “no, thank you”, and sometimes I have to actually argue with people, and tell them to stop shoving that pamphlet at me. I have no problem with them offering it to me, but I DO have a huge problem with them insiting I take it when I have said “no”. Once, a few years ago, my car had stopped by the side of the road, and a man stopped to see if I was all right. As he left, he offered me a tract about the LDS church. After his kindness, I couldn’t very well say no, so I thanked him, took the tract, tossed it in the back seat of my car, and threw it away the next time I cleaned out my car. I never read it, but I felt I should be polite to that man. Isn’t it possible that those people you mentioned were just being polite to you? For all you know, the moment you left, they turned to their co-workers, rolled their eyes, and said “Why are the religious nuts always in my section?” Maybe they shrug it off. Maybe they genuinely appreciate the concern. Or maybe they go home feeling sad and lonely because they follow a lesser-known religion and feel shut out and discriminated against when people push their beliefs on them. This is why, when I worked in restaurants, and when I worked in retail, I always said “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” (or I said nothing at all) unless I knew for certain that the person I was talking to celebrated Christmas. (And you wouldn’t believe how hostile some “Christians” get when people try to be understanding and tolerant of others’ differences!)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Hi Amy,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It is very possible that some could have referred to us as religious nuts. If so then I am in good company with Paul when he said, “We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.” (1 Corinthians 4:10)

    Your example of “pushing a tract” or their religion on someone is totally out of context. There was nothing pushy about gently asking if there was something we could pray for them. We’ve had some share how they were going through difficult times and share with us what to pray for. I’m wondering if you aren’t reacting more to someone that has the desire to identify with Jesus. “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26)

    We have to ask ourselves why our country is no longer a Christian nation. Could it be because “Christians” were more concerned about be embarrassed or someone reacting to a very gentle and loving question, than they were about other people’s souls?

    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:16)

    Steve

  12. This is so true. I myself am very guilty of not sharing the message of God’s salvation. I am also so encouraged when I read your blog. Thank you for continuing to write and express your beliefs in such a wonderful way!

  13. I have been a Christian since I was a young child of eight. In all my life, I have never felt anything other than gratitude and appreciation for anyone who has offered to pray for me. And when people have asked me if I knew the Lord Jesus as my savior, it has always given me a thrill to be able to answer with an emphatic “Yes!” I was reminded by your post regarding the waitress that we should be praying without ceasing for everyone in the world to hear the good news. Thank you for that! God has done so much for my Christian walk through your ministry. I am grateful for your willingness to be used for His glory!

  14. We are called to care! It is exciting to minister to people as God’s Spirit leads! We are His hands and feet on this earth! If we don’t care, who will?

  15. Amen.
    Christians are not “better”, but “better off” because we have eternal life in Jesus Christ.
    In response to the blog reader: I wonder if it ever crossed her mind that the Holy Spirit might have prompted the Maxwells to offer to pray for that waitress?
    I have never once gotten the impression that the Maxwells think they “have a better line to God”, meaning that they think they are better than other people.
    Mr. Maxwell, thank you for the post. We do need to concern ourselves about the people on their way to hell! Witness to them, pray for them, give them a Gospel tract! Thank you for your example.

  16. As a non-Christian my problem wasn’t asking what you could pray for or even the praying but rather that you felt the need to tell everyone that you did so. It lacks what I believe a true servant’s heart is and a shocking lack of humility.

    You do the right thing because it is the right thing and when it comes to private matters you keep them private. I am sure the waitress never intended for you to share her story to the masses.
    >>>>>>>>>
    Hi Kelly,

    I would agree that if our intentions were shouting our own praise, that is a sad thing and one worthy of rebuke. However, the purpose of this blog (as evidenced by the phrase at the top) is to encourage Christians to “… put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14

    This blog is written to Christians. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17 It is to challenge and encourage one another in the walk that Jesus has called us to. If you choose to read, please read it with that in mind.

    I have met many professing Christians that shout their own praise to others and that is troubling. I can see how you might think that, but the purpose is to challenge and encourage others to be bold as we live out Christ in our lives.

    I feel we can walk a fine line sometimes in what we share in the desire to encourage others, but NEVER wanting to “toot our own horn.” Often at conferences I share that if those attending walk away at the end thinking we are some great family, then we failed. If they walk away thinking, “that family serves a mighty God”, then we have succeeded. The same is true for the blog.

    “Non-Christians” will not read things the same as Christians. Even many professing Christians will not read things the same. We will stay the course in what we write, but as always being careful not to proclaim our “alms” before others. Actually, there are many things we don’t share, just because of that. We are glad you read the blog, but I encourage you to keep in mind the target audience. It may help you better understand.

    In Christ Jesus,
    Steve

  17. In 1791, all Americans were given the Freedom of Religion, Press, and Expression under our first amendment. I am sure that our forefather prayed long and hard about our Constitution. With that said, I do respect that the blogger has the right to voice her opinion….even if I DO NOT agree. Prayer is a free and powerful gift that the Lord has given us. If anyone approached by the Maxwells does not want to give them a prayer request it is their right; just as it is the Maxwells right to pray for anyone. The Maxwell family have commited themselves to God and faithfully obey His commandment to love thy neighbor. By the grace of God,I have been saved. That does not make life a bed of roses. I am often under attack by the enemy especially when I least expect it. Personally I am honored when people pray for me. I will continue to pray daily for the Maxwell family and will now include all the blog readers whether saved or not. God bless.

  18. What prayer given by a pure heart cannot be used by Our Lord or directed to perform His Holy Will? Only man who gives a higher regard to creation than the Almighty Creator will pause for fear of offense or stay in Sodom so as not to offend those who desire to stay. Minneapolis

  19. “It is my experience that someone who is truly saved appreciates others who are concerned about their soul. Others who are lost and then become saved are grateful to those who cared and did something to help them avoid eternity in hell.” I SO agree with this statement!!! I know that I certainly wouldn’t be offended if someone talked to me about my salvation or prayed for me – it would show they truly care!!! And, I also respect you for your willingness to not become offended with this poster, but to answer with grace. 🙂

  20. I have been in the presence of some of your family members when they have asked this question of people. It is truly uplifting and encouraging to see such an act. I have also been the humble recipient of this very question from your family. I can say it has certainly uplifted me, given me hope and direction when most needed. Thank you for being a wonderful and gracious family in the Lord

  21. I find your need to pray for someone’s salvation a private affair between yourself and your God. I find your need to tell someone that your praying for their salvation ….well that’s between me and my God.

  22. Dear Maxwell Family,
    Amen from our home!
    We can only agree & say thank you to all the comments that are already posted!
    May we add we as well have only been blessed by the “TRUTH” that your family shares!
    What all of us need to do now is “pray” for the one who was ….conserned,wondering-convicted? Whatever it was, they, as we all do need prayer!
    Blessings to all
    ~M. Family

  23. Mr Maxwell-
    Thank you for the example of responding to something possibly offensive with grace and understanding. Only God knows what is truly in a person’s heart and it is not up to us to judge or “decide” if someone needs prayers for their salvation or not. The Bible only says to “pray without ceasing”. I am encouraged by your response (I admit my response might not have been so kind!) and will pray for the waitress, the person who posted and your wonderful family!! God bless you!

  24. With all due respect, I don’t feel like you have addressed the issue that your reader has raised. Just assuming someone is lost and praying privately for their salvation isn’t always good enough. By not asking the waitress if she was saved, you were failing to warn her just like you illustrated in your story. While I think it was great that you asked her how you could pray for her, it doesn’t really give a clear witness to Christ. For all she knew, your family might have been praying to a false god rather Jesus Christ. It would have been better to try to ascertain what the state of her soul was by talking with her about Christ, and then asking how you could pray for her.

  25. One of the things I find most encouraging is when someone tells me that they just prayed for me, had been praying for me, or are praying for me regularly. I can’t tell you how that sincere thought of lifting me up before God, impacts me and encourages my heart. I have never had a stranger come up to me and say that they felt led to pray for me, but I do know if they did It would surely cause me to stop and be amazed at God for the fact that he has placed it on the hearts of others to pray for me. Actually I can tell you that I received an email one day from Mrs. Maxwell telling me that she had been regularly praying for me. I was completely SHOCKED that she would take the time to write down my name in order to remember to pray for me…. really a stranger in most ways, except my occasional writing on the blog. There are times I feel so discouraged in that unanswered prayer but then I think that God even put it on her heart to pray for even me. That is the body of Christ and it never ceases to amaze me when it works like this. Prayer is such and effective tool…. keep praying and keep encouraging us readers to do the same and to be as bold as Christ has brought you to do. Blessings!!!!

  26. I am not a Christian, like a few of the other commenters, but I have different point of view. For a family who has devoted their lives to their ministry, asking someone if they can pray for them is not uncommon or out of line. The person who is being asked has the freedom to decline. The waitress in question was obviously receptive to the request. The request to pray for the waitress was out of caring for her, and a big part of what is wrong with the world today is that no one cares for one another.

  27. It’s nice that you’re glad to be identified as religious nuts, but you seem to have skipped over my point that you could have been making the waitress, or anyone you approached the same way, unhappy and uncomfortable, and that she may have been acting nice because she didn’t feel that telling you the truth was appropriate to the workplace. I agree with the above commenter who pointed out that there was no need to talk about it. In fact, there was no need to ask her about it. You could have just prayed for her in general, and never announced the point to her, thereby doing something you believed to be beneficial without telling her.

    I used to identify as christian, and sometimes I look back and see how uncomfortable I probably made people, and how completely unneccesary some of my public behavior really was. I could have walked the walk without talking the walk, but I had a point to make. Funny how my sense of humility and true generosity came only after I gave up on organized religion.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Amy,
    Thank you for sharing more. Yes, you might have been religious, but it is clear you didn’t know the Savior personally. That is the difference between something stale and going through the motions versus having a joy filled, peaceful walk with the Lord Jesus. I’m sorry that you are basing your opinion on a religious experience. It’s about relationship not religion. That is why the Pharisees hated Jesus. He came to promote a relationship, not bring another religion. That is why Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23) Jesus is talking about those who did good things, but He says to depart from Him because they never knew Him, they had no relationship with Him.

    Steve

  28. I have read the blog for approximately 3 years. I have never felt that anything in the blog was self serving for the Maxwells. I have been challenged in so many ways to pray more, witness more, live my faith in Jesus Christ out loud (but not offensively), and to prioritize my family matters in a way pleasing to the Lord. Most importantly challenged many times to search the scriptures to be responsible myself for what scripture says rather than adopting others views. I have learned and been given forum to express myself and maybe in the past shared on the blog what others might fight encouraging. I don’t just take every point your family makes and accept it as a given, nor have I ever felt that you be your goal in sharing. If you bring out a concept I have never thought of or see differently I am in the Word finding out exactly where I stand. I believe as Christians that is how we help eachother. Thank you Maxwell family for challenging me in a positive and productive manner. Thank you for praying for people everywhere you go – whether planting a seed or watering one that was planted by someone else, prayers of need or encouragement – all the above are important in kingdom work. Be Blessed!

  29. I’m sure the whole Maxwell family are caring, true Christians. They have encouraged me to not be shy about my faith. If Christians keep silent, how would others know if they care?

  30. Keep asking, keep praying, and keep sharing with us!
    One reason I am so drawn to your materials is because you are real, we have seen your failings in your writings and also how God has taught you a better way unlike some who come across as never making a mistake and always having the answers. I haven’t seen pride in your work but God’s work through you and you being our teachers as the Bible instructs.
    I have also found encouragement from this type of sharing on how you reach out to others. I have shared with my friends how I have learned to share my faith to others (though I still have room to grow in this area). It is not out of pride but a desire to encourage them to spread the gospel as well. I try to remember when I’m running errands or when someone is at my house that they may not know the God of my salvation. I hope by God’s grace to plant some seeds as He gives me opportunity. Being from a church that is heavy on being a light but feeble on speaking, I feel it is important to encourage them to speak to others. Often they want to know how I go about it. (Share the truth in love and be careful not to be harsh).
    My heart is to encourage others to read the Bible and ask God to teach them how to live. I thought I was saved when I was 4 because I said a prayer but I was never a truly converted person according to the Bible. I was living in sin with no care of what God’s Word said (I was told it didn’t matter anyway, I would go to Heaven no matter what). I was 23 when God opened my eyes by “hearing the Word of God.” It is a fearful thing to look back and realize I could have spent eternity in hell if I would have died and yet no one taught me the whole truth. The people I knew didn’t seek opportunity to share it with me, and not being naturally inquisitive I never asked about the things that set them apart, I just thought it was how they chose to live, not things they did in obedience to the Bible. (Some churches say, if you are a light, people will ask ~ not always!)

    Can I share what I’ve learned?
    Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength.
    Love thy neighbor as thyself.
    God rejects the proud
    God gives grace to the humble
    Resist the devil and he will flee from you
    Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you
    Turn from your sin (ask God to show you what sin you have in your life)
    Ask God to teach you how to live (how should you spend your time, money, etc.)
    Study Psalm 119 ~ ask God to give you the Psalmist heart for the Bible.
    Salvation is not just Heaven vs. Hell in eternity.
    Salvation is Christ living in me.
    Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

    God Bless You Maxwell family and Thank You again for your example and encouragement.

  31. Dear Steve,
    It is your family’s calling and willingness to pray for others, like myelf and my husband, that I so appreciate about you all. I love knowing that Phil and I are in your thoughts and prayers. We need them, this is a fact.

    If we were sitting to eat in a resaurant and the waitress asked how she could pray for us, we would be thrilled. Reading your posting here and the comments, you have inspired me to step outside our comfort zone, and ask our waiter/waitress the next time we eat out how we can pray for them. I will let you know how it goes for us, as this will be a first time.

    I want to add here that as you reach out to others, I don’t see you as proudful. I see you offering, with a loving spirit, the gift of Jesus Christ to someone who may not have a personal rlatonship with him. I see you offering the gift of eternal life in heaven as opposed to hell. God is with you and in you wherever you go and those you come in contact with are all the better for having the chance to meet you all. You continue to guide us in our faith in so many ways. We love you all so much and feel so blessed to call you friends.

    Blessings and love, Mrs. Mari

  32. Amen and AMEN Maxwells~Nothing compares to the greatness of KNOWING our LORD! Thank you for all you do in HIS name.
    Aloha in Christ~
    Denise B.

  33. I’m an atheist myself, but I certainly have no doubt that the Maxwells had good intentions. This is their way of expressing kindness and concern.

    Nonetheless, I would point out that the waitress is a captive audience. She was REQUIRED to be there and to interact with the customers — and, as a single mother supporting her child, she is relying on their discretion to give her a good tip. Under those circumstances, she is bound to feel she has to be gracious and answer their questions.

    While I don’t think what the Maxwells did was the worst thing in the world (I don’t think they pressed their advantage too much), it is worth bearing in mind that it is not quite nice to cross boundaries with someone who HAS to earn your approval to some degree. Certainly, inquiring as to the state of her salvation and personal religious beliefs when she is there working and can’t easily walk away from you (as suggested by a commenter above) would be wrong.

  34. I have met the Maxwells and noticed at that time how warm and caring they were. There was not a proud, holier-than-thou-ness about any of them. During the short amount of time I got to spend with them the love of God shown through. If they asked the waitress how they could pray for her it was because they really care about people. I’ve been around enough people who call themselves Christians but whose agenda is to tear down, to make people who are not exactly like them feel like dirt, and to just be plain old judgey. With the Maxwells I felt none of that. I still think that the next time they plan a trip they need to be able to see Crater Lake but that’s a whole ‘nuther post! 🙂
    ~The Silly S.Oregon Waving Lady
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Lord willing we will be coming that way in March. Maybe then.

    Steve

  35. I, too, have had the privilege of watching a Maxwell witness to a “stranger” in a public/retail setting. I felt awful and ashamed. Not at their effort, but at MY timid spirit that keeps me from doing the same thing.

    Keep on carrying the Lord’s greatness, Steve. You inspire me and my family.

    H.A.

  36. I have been a reader of this blog for awhile now. It is obvious from the original post that they were asking that of the waitress out of the goodness of their hearts and perhaps to challenge her. I assume, given the situation that she was at work, that Steve did not expect her to drop to hear knees and repent at Olive Garden. However, by showing kindness to her perhaps he gave her hope that there is someone she can turn to with all of her problems. Jesus Christ.

    While I do not agree with everything the Maxwells believe in, I see nothing wrong with what he did. In fact, it’s encouraging and challenged me to perhaps think about doing the same some day.

  37. Dear, dear Maxwells! I love your kind hearts. I agree with your gentle and wise answer to your blog reader. I have found the same thing to be true that those who are saved appreciate my prayers for them, and in this way, strangers or acquaintances often turn into friends. I am then doubly blessed when those friends and I can pray for one another to live righteously!

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, even those belonging to other religions or no religion at all have thanked me for praying for them and have even prayed with me at times! I am always amazed and grateful that the Lord opens these paths for us to preach His gospel.

    As for prayers themselves…God is wonderful!!! How could it ever be wrong to speak to our Heavenly Father in prayer, especially in the selfless act of praying on another person’s behalf? Prayer isn’t the question…it is the ANSWER, and I believe that if your blog reader prays about this situation and whether or not it was appropriate to pray for your waitress, his or her sincere questions will also be answered! Isn’t it wonderful when we have questions, we can kneel down and ask for ourselves?! 🙂

  38. I don’t usually comment but feel compelled to now. Something that has always impressed me about you, Maxwell family, is that you don’t live in an isolated bubble. I respect how you control the amount of the world that you allow into your home and lives. We should all be doing that. Yet you get out there and try to reach people for Christ – not only in your conferences but I’m thinking more of how you reach out intentionally to your neighbors, to the lost at the fairs where you have set up a booth for ministry and outreach, when you eat out or stop at a gas station, and even with this blog. I appreciate how natural it is for you to express concern for that waitress. Again, we should all be doing the same.

    As for being a “religious nut,” – well, praise God! We’ve seen people paint their bodies and color their hair and spend hours screaming at a football game; stand in line for hours (even days!) to get that special deal or buy that concert ticket; and any number of other outrageous behaviors. There are many different sorts of nuts out there, but I’d rather be called a nut for Christ than anything else. Only eternity matters! So thank you, Maxwells, for sharing and for caring as you do. Your lives are making a difference for eternity!

  39. Just wanted to add my opinion after reading all of the interesting comments! I don’t think it was offensive of the Maxwells to ask the waitress how they could pray for her. I think there were several ways she could have declined (“No thank you, not at the moment”) without being rude and risking a poor tip. I personally would have been touched by the act of kindness. I do think that there are boundries when witnessing to others though. I have been offended in the past when people handing out tracts have tried to “save” me. I am already comfortable in my salvation in Christ, and it is offensive to have people assume that because I am Catholic I’m not really saved. One person handing out a tract tried to debate with me on specific beliefs of the Catholic church, and I find that unnecessary. I believe that one cannot achieve salvation by being “good enough” and Christ was sent down to save us; therefore I am saved, no matter what organized religion I am affiliated with.
    >>>>>>>>>
    Hi Jen,
    You are right, we can’t be good enough or earn salvation by good works. You believe you are saved already but it would be good to clarify a few things so we are on the same page.
    Jesus came to save us, but it isn’t a blanket salvation for all. It is available for all, but it is specifically for all who will personally place their faith in Him. At Christmas time, there can be a host of presents, but unless we individually reach out and take it, it isn’t ours until that point. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name,” (John 1:12). The gift is offered to all, but only some will receive it.
    It begins by the realization that each of us has sinned before God and broken His Ten Commandments. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
    Have you prayed and confessed to God that you have sinned and broken His commandants?
    Have you told Him you are trusting that Jesus died personally for your sins on the cross?
    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” (Romans 10:9-10). Are you telling others that Jesus bore your sins on the cross and He now owns you. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” ( 1 Corinthians 6:20).
    God raised Jesus from the dead and we must believe that He will raise us too.
    So Jen if the above describes what has transpired in your life in some manner, then yes you are saved and my Sister in Christ. The above is just what the Bible teaches. That is why it isn’t about religion, it is about what the Bible teaches and coming into a real relationship with Jesus.

    I would encourage you to not take anyones word for it. Look up Scripture for yourself. Take it before the Lord. So many are religious, thinking that is all there is to it, but they miss salvation and a real relationship with Jesus.

    Bless you.

    Steve

  40. I find myself at your website, MOTH boards, and Blog often for encouragement. It is because you are an example and a light for Christ. And sharing that you prayed for the waitress was a natural thing to write in your blog. Your devotion to Christ as a family is sweet. Today is my birthday and my daughter’s 12 year birthday. We share it! I know that you have a ‘better line’ to God because you actually really pray on the spot…better line just because you ARE praying…will you please pray for my family today. It is the Holy Spirit who does the praying (Romans 8) so just our name is enough. Praying now for your family.
    >>>>>>>>>>
    Happy Birthday(s)! and yes praying for your family.

    Steve

  41. Amy, If you ever have a chance please go on the web and search for Dr S.M Davis. He has a CD with his message on humility. You might not agree with everything said, but I think you will find the true meaning of being humble. It certainly opened by eyes.
    Jesus encouraged his disciples to spread the Good News with boldness. We are all called to be disciples. It can be done quietly, it can be done by standing on a corner passing out tracts and it can be asking people for prayer requests. There are so many different ways. THE MAXWELL FAMILY ARE DOING WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN CALLED TO DO BY THE LORD! I am curious as to why the bloggers who are non Chrisitans, athiests and agnostics read it? I am not asking to judge or criticize… I am truly interested and would also love to know how you heard about it? I am delighted to know you read and keep up to date.
    I was a sinner before I became a Christian; I am still a sinner! The difference now is that I know I am forgiven and want to lead a better life to grow closer to God and be worthy of our eternal gift. I respect your opinions but please look at the big picture. With all the poverty, prejudice, hatred in the world….why is it such a big deal for you that they asked the waitess? If the she was insulted, be a duck and let it slide off the back or concentrate on the state of the world and decide what is really imporatant in life. The Maxwell family encourages people and I believe we all encourage them…..
    ——-
    BTW – we actually sell the Dr. Davis message on humility. Here’s the direct link to it.

    Sarah
    ——-

  42. Dear Mr. Maxwell,

    Thank you for the responses you have given on this topic. I have been a Christian since I was 15. I am now 49 and just realized from one of your responses that although I am saved and will go to heaven when I die, I do not have a “relationship” with the Lord. Because of this thread I now realize I am missing something. I hope to be able to figure out exactly what it takes to truley know God the way I should.

    Sincerely,
    Johnna B.
    >>>>>>>>>
    Thank you for sharing. I have sent an email to the address you provided. If we can encourage you in this let us know.

    In Christ Jesus,
    Steve and Teri

  43. I feel so strongly on this topic that I am commenting twice! The Lord’s ways are not always known to us. What if the Maxwells felt led to ask the waitress if they could pray for her and another customer near-by over this conversation. And what if this customer had been feeling convicted to turn his life over to Christ and this was the tipping point-seeing a whole family genuinely care and want to pray for a person that is a complete stranger to them. I also want to add that the goal in a Christian’s life is not to not cause offense to people or to not make people feel a little uncomfortable when it comes to talking about Christ and the Good News. CERTAINLY, we must be very sensitive to people’s feelings and not be obnoxious as to turn them away from Christ. However, we are called as Christians to let the love of Christ show in us and tell people about the His free gift of salvation. And there are times when I don’t do just that! That is why I am so encouraged by your blog. My words are not as eloquent as yours, Mr Maxwell but I hope this made sense!

  44. Wow!!! You said that well!!!!!! God says for us to go ye into all the world… and preach the gospel… The Maxwell family is such an encouragement!! Praise the Lord for a family committed to God!! May God continue to bless you all and continue to take care of you!!!

  45. Just a question~I’d like to know what the original poster had to offer a single mother working as a waitress. What hope, encouragement, or direction would have they offered given the same scenario?

  46. Thank you so much for posting this discussion. It is such an encouragement, and your teaching throughout is very inspirational.
    To God be the glory!

  47. Amy said, “I’ve had strangers give me tracts on the street. I usually say “no, thank you”, and sometimes I have to actually argue with people, and tell them to stop shoving that pamphlet at me. I have no problem with them offering it to me, but I DO have a huge problem with them insiting I take it when I have said “no”. Once, a few years ago, my car had stopped by the side of the road, and a man stopped to see if I was all right. As he left, he offered me a tract about the LDS church. After his kindness, I couldn’t very well say no, so I thanked him, took the tract, tossed it in the back seat of my car, and threw it away the next time I cleaned out my car.”

    Amy (and any unbelievers reading this blog) – the reason why we Christians keep trying to give you tracts and witness to you is because we care about your soul!! You are not guaranteed your next breath. “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” James 4:14. Everyone has an appointment with death. “And as it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27. When you die, your soul will go to heaven or hell for all eternity. Do you care enough about your own soul? What will you do with your sins? If you reject what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross, you will stand alone to answer for your own sins on judgment day. God will be your judge – What will you say to Him? For us Christians, having repented of our sins and having accepted what Jesus did for us on the cross, we are covered by his shed blood. He is our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) and will be on the day of judgment. You may say, “God will look at all the good things I’ve done and overlook the bad things.” “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” Isaiah 64:6. “There is none righteous, no not one” Romans 3:10.
    We Christians truly care about people’s souls, and that is why the Maxwells do what they do and that is why I am writing this! “For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36. Will you lose your own soul???

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