Wanted: More caffeinated Christians

Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia have released a recent study showing that caffeine makes people more open to logical argument, even when it runs counter to their previously held opinions. The caffeine group, across the board, tested out as being consistently more open-minded than the decaf group. This would definitely lend new credibility to the belief that conversations over coffee are a good thing.

An open mind is necessary for any relationship to grow. You have to be open to another way of thinking to relate to someone, because we are all different – we have different backgrounds, different gifts, and we see things from different points of view. Lasting relationships grow out of accepting one another’s differences. We appreciate each other more through consensus than through conformity.

This kind of open-mindedness in relationships is important for more reasons than just our differences. It is important because we are always changing, and since we are all in process, we have to remain open to that process in each other. My road will not be yours; yours will not be mine, even if we walk together. God has different plans for each of us. Jesus Christ did not die to create clones. He died so He could fill each one of our unique natures with Himself.

And finally, part of who we are becoming involves those closest to us. We are not who we are in a vacuum. We are a product of the people we know and how we have grown together. We shape each other. When this aspect is strong, there is a healthy push and pull at work. “As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NLT)

th-1Belief has commonly been associated with a closed mind. This is unfortunate because nothing could be further from the truth. Belief opens you up to God and gives you his Spirit to help reinterpret the world around you. Belief is all about discovery, and just as our relationships with each other are not static, neither is our relationship with God. We are constantly discovering more about God and his world, and we are constantly discovering more about ourselves and those around us.

All of this applies, across the board, to being a vital Christian in the marketplace. Being able to connect with others, looking for touchpoints of truth, putting ourselves in other people’s shoes, being able to come to where someone else is instead of always asking them to come to us, are all ways of establishing relationships with unbelievers

Unbelievers today are largely expecting our minds as Christians to already be made up. Let’s surprise them. When we show we are still seeking, still learning, still growing, we create a greater opportunity for the gospel of Jesus Christ. God is bigger than our differences, disagreements and misunderstandings. Our job is to build relationships with people so as to introduce them to Jesus Christ, not to get everyone to think just like we do.

I think it’s obvious, we need to get more Christians drinking coffee!

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11 Responses to Wanted: More caffeinated Christians

  1. I like that (as I sit here and drink my coffee while I work…) The second and third paragraph are so true. So often we don’t even want to listen to someone elses opinion or thoughts about something. And vice versa. I find it very hard to find people to just have an open conversation about many things these days. But oh look at how much each person has to offer.

  2. Carole in Midland says:

    Hey John! At 15+ cups a day, I am certainly doing MY part! Guess I overlooked that bit about “all things in moderation,” huh? One thing folks can count on when they stop by my house – the coffee is ALWAYS on, and there’s an extra chair at the kitchen table.

  3. Mark S. says:

    Another very good Catch and thx 4 it too, Pastor John! Have to add a great big Amen to this truth: “God is bigger than our differences, disagreements and misunderstandings. Our job is to build relationships with people so as to introduce them to Jesus Christ, not to get everyone to think just like we do.”
    PS I have this new and very good anger management therapist – and he, i think would stand-up and clap to the above… 🙂
    PSS my another Catch buddy Carole 15 cups! Man how do you keep yourself from not boncing off the walls… LOL 🙂

  4. Bobby Patton says:

    I think it is interesting that the first coffee house opened in Europe around 1529 (http://coffeetea.about.com/od/history1/a/shophistory.htm), just in time for the Reformation and the first coffee house opened in American in 1792, just in time for the Second Great Awakening…. just sayin….

  5. It’s true that caffeine promotes awareness and we need to be razor-sharp in our awareness of what’s going on. I’ve stopped idly fiddling with my BlackBerry while on the bus or SkyTrain, knowing that it leaves one as a sitting duck for muggers; how many people do you see wandering along a sidewalk or crossing the street, focused on their mobile devices and unaware of their surroundings? We need to be wide-awake to the signs around us. I don’t know if the correlation between coffee houses and Christ still exists: in my city — Vancouver BC — coffee houses grow like invasive species, but it has some of the most closed-minded people when it comes to anything to do with Christ. (BTW — if anyone hasn’t read “Confessions of a Caffeinated Christian,” find a copy and read it — then buy 2 more and pass all three along to others! The underlying theme is the great “fear not” message non-believers need.)

  6. TimC says:

    You know, it really is almost comical how closed-minded our liberal friends are. They talk about being so open-minded but they’re not. And as soon as they find out that you don’t believe the way they do, then they begin to heap the vitriol on you. Their mind is made up and strike three, you are out.

  7. Flo says:

    This Catch really resonated with me today. I have been a born again, Spirit filled Christian since 1961. I was sure my husband would come into the fold right away, but alas, here it is 52 years later and he is still an unbeliever. He is a wonderful husband, and I dearly love him, but through the years I had to make some compromises, and do some of the things he wanted to do, as long as they were not sinful. One of them has been going to casinos. He loves going for entertainment, he does not have a gambling problem, and is very controlled in his playing. As a result he has accumulated many reward points, which brings me to my reason for responding to the Catch today. Over the weekend we had three family members visit us, all of them dedicated Christians. My husband wanted to take them to the casino to enjoy the fabulous buffet, which would have been paid for by his reward points. We intended to just eat and not play at the casino. Two agreed, but one said because of her convictions she couldn’t eat in a casino. Therefore, we respected her convictions and ate at home. Somehow I think if it had been Jesus, he would have eaten at the casino with my unsaved husband. What do you think? By the way, the two that agreed were coffee drinkers.

    I especially loved this quote from your Catch today. “All of this applies, across the board, to being a vital Christian in the marketplace. Being able to connect with others, looking for touchpoints of truth, putting ourselves in other people’s shoes, being able to come to where someone else is instead of always asking them to come to us, are all ways of establishing relationships with unbelievers.”

  8. Meaghan-Margaret Evans says:

    Everyday lately I find more to think about from the offerings at The Catch and the comments. My own opinions are shifting and I am listening more intently. I don’t drink coffee but I love the smell of it brewing. It takes me back to childhood when I would awaken to the aroma knowing my parents were up and beginning the day and I felt that all was right with the world. Eons ago!
    Thank you for that memory alone and so much more.

  9. Meaghan-Margaret Evans says:

    Please, write more about the Holy Spirit. A friend of mine referred to The Holy Spirit as a female. I remember studying Proverbs and hearing that Wisdom was referred to as female. I have no trouble with this at all. It is just that I have never heard it before yesterday. When I read in Genesis about God making the world and referred to Himself as “Us” meaning the Holy Trinity which told me the three have been One from the beginning it was further truth confirmed in my mind of the truth of God’s character.

  10. Pingback: Daily Download: August 20, 2013 | lawyervon.com // Home of the blue shirt.

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