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Looking for Speaking Hope Ministry's blog? For the moment, it has combined with Miscellaneous Ramblings. Please click here and be sure to sign up for e-mail notices. Thanks. Carol

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Whoa vs Woe

Do you tell everyone you meet what Jesus has done for you?  No, me neither. 
Do you wait for that just-right-moment before bringing it up?  Well, of course. 
And how often does that just-right-moment come up?  Well, I mean, if you’re going to get technical…
For if I [merely] preach the Gospel, that gives me no reason to boast, for I feel compelled of necessity to do it. Woe is me if I do not preach the glad tidings (the Gospel).                                                                                                                                               1 Corinthians 9:16 (AMP)
What I get from this verse is that we should be compelled to weave the Gospel throughout our normal, everyday conversations, and that we should be doing it in a normal, everyday way.
I struggle with this one a lot.  I want to be able to throw in a praise or two for Jesus, but it just sounds so pious and snooty.  Like “you don’t got what I got.”  Even to other professing Christians, it’s the same thing.  Like “I know you got it, but I got it better.”
That’s what it sounds like in my ears.  It’s not what I’m thinking.  I want to come across as genuine.  I want to be genuine.
Do you know what regret is?  Yeah, me too.  The I shoulda, coulda, woulda thoughts that go round and round in my head. 
In the above passage, Paul says “Woe is me.”  Woe, although it’s pronounced like the overused “whoa,” does not have a positive meaning to it.  It’s a negative, such as sadness and misery.  And regret.
I wonder if Paul ever had regrets as he waited out his sentence in the Roman prisons.  I wonder if he ever laid awake at night and thought, “Gee, I wish I had today to do over again.  I wasted so many opportunities to talk about the Good News.”
It’s certainly a subject that I should be losing sleep over.  Anybody with me on this?
But the Good News that Paul speaks of is truly good, because we get another chance to get it right.  Every day is a new day, time to try it again, to practice what God wants us to do.
If anyone has reason to regret, it’s God Himself, for creating these wimpy, self-centered creatures.  But He doesn’t regret because He cannot.  It’s not His nature.  He sees us every single second of our lives and He rejoices in us. 
Good News?  Wow!  We may want to amend that to read GREAT News!
Photo Courtesy of Cindy West McGregor


  1. The word "practice" jumps out at me Carol. If we make it a practice to weave God into our everyday lives, it gets easier. Evangelical by nature, witnessing comes easy for me, but I worry that I come across too strong sometimes. I've adopted the practice of my friend, by saying, "God bless you," to people I see, or talk to on the phone. Great post! Love & Blessing ~ Danie

  2. Danie, I like that word "practice" too. I call myself a "practicing Christian" because I'm still practicing! Thanks for commenting...

  3. Remember, sometimes those we come in contact with are not receptive to hear the Gospel. Oftentimes the best witnessing comes from saying nothing. I have a friend of a different denomination than mine, who appreciates me "not cramming 'religion' down her throat" every time we speak. I just love her like Jesus would; genuinely caring about how she's feeling and situations with her family. It took a couple of years for me to ask, 'May I pray for you?' on the phone. She was most welcoming of that and counts me as her 'Jesus-y friend'; she describes me, "she has a direct line to the Man upstairs!"--and she's right! Prayer is just that!

    Carol, you are in a unique position to reach people others couldn't...or wouldn't. Keep praying for peoples' hearts to be opened to the Gospel. God will not waste your being at the right place at the right time. The enemy would like you to think that, but we know he lies, don't we?

    Keep on keeping on Carol--practice makes close to His perfect!


    1. Tom, what a wonderful surprise to see a comment from you! I appreciate the encouragement so very much. I've turned my focus to my other blog, Miscellaneous Ramblings, so you might want to go over and have a look. It's the lighter side of Christian life...