Isn’t this an interesting concept. Brushing your teeth while eating an oreo. You know, this has become one of JoDee’s favorite sayings around the house. I mean, cleaning the house while four kids are running around. That’s like brushing your teeth while eating an oreo. What about trying to lose weight while eating a pizza and having ice cream. That’s like brushing your teeth while eating an oreo. And, the best, trying to make your lawn green while your dog and kids treat it like a playground. All these things are exactly like trying to brush your teeth while eating an oreo. They just don’t work.
Well on Thursday this concept took on a different meaning to me. While trying to find a place to eat in private at the police station, I found an empty office. It wasn’t that I was trying to ignore people, I just wanted some peace and quiet considering I had been dealing with ignorance all day. Well, I sat down and began eating my grilled chicken salad. While eating, I happened to look over at the individuals desk I was sitting at and noticed a card that was sitting there. It happened to have a picture of another police officer who had lost her life in the line of duty a few years ago. Being nosey, or just inquisitive, I began reading it.
The officer portrayed on this card was a part of the darkest moment in my police departments history. Her life ended when a deranged gunman entered the parking lot of the police station and unloaded his AK-47, killing two officers. That story was told in this card which appeared to be a handout, possibly given as an obituary at her funeral. In this folded up piece of paper, the darkest day in the police departments history wasn’t the most interesting story. In fact, I forgot this story was told in the card until I began writing this blog.
The fascinating story laid out in this card was that this officer had given her life to Jesus Christ just two years prior to her death. This story dominated the hand out. This officer was proud of her decision to give her life to Jesus. You see, it was explained in this card that this officer was one that didn’t want to hear about Jesus. In fact, she down right hated when someone tried to offer their take on Christianity and Jesus Christ.
Well to make a long story somewhat short, this officer told her partner one day that he has until the end of their shift to convince her that Jesus Christ is who He says He is. I assume her partner gave it his all, because she gave her life to Jesus and almost two years later to the day, lost her earthly life and began her eternal life.
So, you may be asking, what the heck does this have to do with brushing your teeth while eating an oreo. Well, let me take you to where my brain took me.
You see, working in a police department is similar to what I perceive the military to be. There is a lot of type “A” personalities and a ton of people who are sure that their way is the only way. There is a ton of dirty jokes and a ton of cursing. I mean, it’s not exactly Church revival walking through a police station or military base. So in my humble opinion, getting people to change their thoughts or to start living a life pleasing to Jesus or simply helping a lost soul find Jesus is well, like trying to brush your teeth while eating an oreo.
So how do we overcome the fear of sharing Jesus with someone who is far from God? How do we witness in environments like this? Is it possible? Can we possibly save a type “A” personality who knows everything? Can we somehow overcome what an earthly person thinks about our relationship with Jesus Christ? How do we show that Jesus is who He says He is?
Well, this officer was eternally saved because a true disciple of Jesus figured it out. I can assure you that I don’t know all the answers but I am frantically searching. In fact, I have come across a few tips in trying to help us all, as disciples of Jesus, to figure it out. Again, I write these blogs on what I am learning, not what I have mastered.
So, how? How do we do this?
Well first, we must immerse ourselves in the Word of God. Namely, the B-I-B-L-E!! What better way to arm yourself in defense of our savior than to quote scripture and pull scripture from your heart in a situation that could possible determine the eternity of a friend, co-worker, family member, or perceived enemy. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you”. If you have God’s Word in your heart, you can defend yourself, your position, and guard yourself against sin.
Second, we must pray. We must pray that we can be a leader for the Word of God. We must pray that we can speak the truth into a life that is hurting and lost. We must pray with our motives set on advancing the Word and furthering His Kingdom and not with our personal gain in mind.
Third, we must be in community with other believers. You know, it’s hard to accomplish the first two listed here if we are in community with those whose motives are to drag us down. Therefore, we must surround ourselves with other believers and have spiritual time with those believers. Hebrews 10:24 states, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day coming”.
Finally, we must be able to humble ourselves. We must be willing to say, “for His glory, not mine”. When we do this, it’s seen who is first in our life. Luke 18:14 says, “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted”. This is a hard but necessary action. Humility, especially in the midst of success, is not natural.
Well I must be the first to say that I have failed many times over at being a witness at work and environments that aren’t inviting to share the “good news” of Jesus Christ. However, I have started practicing the above and I can say that my whole life has made a change noticeable to others. I may have not actually shared the Word vocally, but my actions have changed and people do notice the little things. I’m fully expecting that this action change is going to open the doors for me if a lost soul is looking for hope. That is when I hope that I can share the Word and hopefully save a lost soul in the process.
You see, when you lose someone, the only hope you have is in Jesus Christ. The only hope that you have is knowing that they are saved and that you will see them in your eternal life. Maybe, just maybe, that is what so many are missing. The fact that when times are tough, they are hurting, or they lose a loved one they have nothing to grasp a hold of and cling to. Well if Jesus is in control of your life, that’s your anchor. That’s your foundation for knowing, “hey, Jesus is my savior and I know he is in control”. I’ll close with a statement I have used before and it has simply become my favorite when times are tough.
Dr. Charles Stanley said, “Jesus is all we need, but we never realize Jesus is all we need until Jesus is all we have got”.
So, the next time you seem to be brushing your teeth while eating an oreo, lean on Him and He will walk you through whatever obstacle you are trying to hurdle.