I read this story in the book Emerging Churches by Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger.
Christians must simply be the good news and not have an ulterior motive. Dieter Zander illustrates this point from personal experience. A strange couple lived down the street. He typified them with the comment, “I bet they sell Amway!” Indeed, at one point, they came over and sought to sell him Amway products. He replied with a firm no, and he hasn’t had any further contact with them in four and a half years. God nudged him through that contact. How he felt about that couple is how most non-Christians feel about Christians. Zander faced the challenge, “How can we be friends with people so that they don’t feel this way about us?” His new agenda is to do good, to bless others as the Abrahamic covenant commands. He wants to be good news to people consistently without another agenda.
Zander’s experience struck me quite hard because I’ve been guilty of being kind to people primarily so that I could get an opportunity to share my faith with them. How inauthentic is that!?!?
The key is to shift our motivation to simply doing good in the name of Jesus so that Jesus can naturally draw people to Himself. This will most often give us the opportunity to share our faith, but our first agenda is simply to do good. Our faith must be a living faith that people will invite into their lives because they have experienced our Christlike goodness and not because we have manipulated them for our own hidden intentions.