Monday, August 21, 2006


I'm an insurance broker. Well .. semi-retired. I have a pretty good client base, and a capable Customer Service Representative who handles most of my clients' ongoing needs. So, I don't have to spend a lot of time at the office.

And a check from Social Security (thanks, folks) helps a lot, too.

I took a lot of sales training in my Insurance Career. I learned that sales presentations need to be tailored to the client, not only in style but in content. For example, a dynamic businessman may be oriented at risk-taking, and hence be willing to assume more risks in exchange for lower premium. On the other hand, a law firm administrator may be more interested in ultimate security and the elimination of all the risk possible.

Also, an entrepreneur will probably be outgoing. But a corporate comptroller may be accounting-oriented and somewhat of an introvert.

The point is, that no salesman worth his salt would handle those people the same. One presentation wouldn't work for everyone, and any decent salesman knows that.

Now, when it comes to spiritual matters, we change gears. We seem to want to forget about the person we may be talking to, and concentrate on the "presentation". I will never, ever forget a F.A.I.T.H. visit in which I was asked to present the outline as to how to be saved. I started to talk about F - forgiveness, and noticed the young lady was crying. That wasn't a time for an outline. She needed to be talked to. So I did.

It was one of the neatest conversions I've ever seen. We all walked away thunderstruck.

NOW: We look around at unbelievers and what we DON'T want to admit is that God may want to use someone who is NOT like us, to reach them. We seem to think that folks ought to agree with us in lots of peripheral issues, that just don't matter in salvation. How absolutely egotistical of us! When we get to lobbing salvos at others, because they differ with us, or refusing to cooperate with folks who meet the definition of "Christ-Honoring, Theologically Concervative Evangelical", I think we're playing the "It's my ball so it's my ball game" .... with GOD!

Jesus, Himself, told His disciples .. guys who had authority over sickness, who had walked on water, who had cast out demons .. that their attitude should be "we are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty". It sure doesn't seem as if we're doing a lot of comparison of our unworthiness, in all this.

Walking through the airport in Nassau, I heard a baggage handler talking to a man in a suit. The man in the suit was witnessing. I stopped, in light of what was being said, and eventually chimed in. I shared a "point-blank" plan of salvation and asked the man if he wanted to be saved. He asked 2 questions, which I answered, and then he prayed and asked Jesus to save him.

The thing I want to point out is that I have no earthly idea where the man in the suit stood on any of the "peripheral issues". He may have been sprinkled. He may think he can be lost after he's been saved. He might be a raging Calvinist. But what I DO know is that, in that place, at that time, we were brothers concerned about the soul of a baggage handler.

Paul said he wanted to be all things to all people so that by all means, some may be won. He'd have done well in insurance. And how can we adopt that attitude without granting the application of that thought to other believers?

As I pointed out once before, this isn't about us. It's about lost mankind. We need to stop acting like it's about us.

It simply isn't.


At 10:12 AM, August 22, 2006, Blogger Kevin Bussey said...


I think you have it down. Each situation is different. I have been building relationships with the workers at the Starbucks I go to every morning. Today I just let one ramble on about her life. I shared a little but it wasn't time to go in full blown witness mode. Maybe tomorrow.

At 10:39 AM, August 22, 2006, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Kevin: Thanks. Not only do we need to realize this for ourselves, but we need to apply that thought to everyone else, too. And stop arguing the differences.

I doubt any of us would pay a wino a buck to come to church, but I met an ex-wino in Indiana who did just that. Dozens had gotten saved as a result.

At 2:23 PM, August 22, 2006, Blogger Scotte Hodel said...

I need for you to reduce to one post per day so that my ego has time to heal from the bruises you're inflicting. ;-)

Seriously, two very good and relevant posts today. Thanks!


At 2:53 PM, August 22, 2006, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...


Thanks for the kind words. In light of some of the discussion and rock trajectories I saw on the other posts, I thought it important to get this one up.

But, as a reward of sorts, I'll try to say something nice about Auburn this week. That'd be a new thing for me.

At 3:54 PM, August 23, 2006, Blogger Paul Burleson said...


It has been a sheer delight to read your last two posts. I have a feeling you have no idea how much of a ministry your words are having in a lot of hearts. I'm not refering only to your posts, but to comments you leave on other blogs. It is a joy to call you my "brother".


At 4:53 PM, August 23, 2006, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Paul: I appreciate your words more than you know. Thank you.

It's my privilege to be your Brother, as well.

Heaven's gonna be neat. In the meantime, this is, too.

At 9:45 AM, September 07, 2006, Blogger Dorcas said...

What's up? Are you competing with Ben to see who can hold out the longest before posting again?

At 9:51 AM, September 07, 2006, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Yup .. we're seeing who can hold his breath the longest.

Actually, I'm working on one about things I don't understand. I've also been involved in a couple blog-related things that have taken time.

Make you a deal, though. Knowing what an offbeat nonconforming curmudgeon I be, how about you pick a topic and I shall opine thereupon. Kind of electronic bloviation.


As long as it does not require me to understand women.

At 9:58 AM, September 07, 2006, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

But in your honor, ma'am, I'll post a poem, probably my best, in the Poetry Corner. If you hadn't noticed, there's a link just above the archive column.


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