You know the feeling, it’s early afternoon and you hear someone knock on your front door. There are typically 4 options for an unexpected visitor; a salesman, Girl Scout, Jehovah Witness, or Mormon.
So in your stealth-like cat form, you sneak a look through the peephole without giving away your position. You notice immediately the Mormon uniform (i.e. white shirt and black tie). Now you have a decision to make, act like you’re not home and don’t answer or risk a 20-minute conversation about the benefits of Mormonism. What do you do?
Let me first say I can describe this scenario so well because I’ve experienced it many times. I confess I’m not a big fan of unexpected doorknockers unless they are cute little Girl Scouts selling those addicting chocolate mint cookies. Other than that, I’m tempted to not answer. But is that what God would want me to do? How would Jesus respond?
Over the years I’ve responded multiple ways and learned a few things in the process that have helped me and I hope are helpful to you.
Remember Doorknockers Are People
Luke 5:27-28 – … Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
Jesus never limited his interaction with people because of cultural labels or awkward situations. In Levi’s case, He looked past the negative stigma of being a “tax collector” and saw him as a person first. He didn’t let the labels and façade of tax collecting limit his interaction.
It is important to remember that doorknockers are not projects but people! They are more than Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, or salesmen. They are real people with real fears and real feelings. When you see them through this lens, it changes everything. It will change your attitude and approach to conversation. Your guard will come down and you will begin to have compassion and relate to how they might be feeling rather than how you are feeling.
Think about it! How would you like going door-to-door introducing yourself to complete strangers who don’t want to talk with you and constantly being rejected? That would be hard and something I would dread doing. When I’ve discussed this topic with them, they’ve all confessed they don’t like it but their religion requires it or it’s the only way they can make a living. In fact, I’ve found by even bringing up the issue they feel a sense of relief knowing someone understands.
When you remember that doorknockers are people first, you have taken an important step towards making your conversation much more relaxed and relational.
Look For Caring Moments
Luke 5:29-32 – Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Jesus didn’t interact with tax collectors because of tax issues. He saw them beyond the obvious and looked for divine opportunities to care for these lost and sinful people.
It is important to recognize that every day God provides Christians divine opportunities to care for others and they might even be knocking at your door. This means that we should not only answer the door but also get to know the person at the door. Get beyond the labels and façade and ask them personal questions about where they live, their family, schooling, employment, etc. You will learn a lot and in doing so, you will better understand how to care for them. You can’t care for someone you don’t know!
As a result of your interaction, maybe the Lord would want you to pray for them? Maybe you could offer them something cold to drink for their journey? Maybe even invite them to church? I tried that once with Mormons and they showed up! You never know what opportunities God will provide when you are looking for those caring moments. This also makes it much easier to politely say “no” to whatever they are offering. I’ve found that when they know you care about them, the sales pitch will soften.
So when you hear that dreaded “knock-knock”, rather than run and hide, take a few minutes and meet your new friend. You never know what God will do when you open that door!
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