I recently decided to make it my practice answer the everyday and often times thoughtless greeting of “How are you doing?” with the theologically grounded, “Better than I deserve!”
Mahaney models this practice in effort to preach the gospel to himself daily; even reminding himself multiple times thoruhgout the day that he is a sinner living in and through God’s gracious mercy.
In the book Mahaney recounts a story of how a Starbucks Barista attempts to reassure his low thoughts of himself.
Incidentally, I was out with my wife on Resurrection Sunday morning, and we dropped by a local Omaha Starbucks. The barista asked his typical, “How are you guys?” to which I replied, “Better than we deserve!”
The gentleman quickly looked up, half perplexed, and then inquired, “What do you mean by that?”
I explained to him, that as a sinner who has offended a holy God, I am in a pretty good place to be even alive, much less coming to enjoy a Starbucks coffee.
The man, quickly (just as Mahaney’s guy did…is this part of the barista training or something??…. =^D….) tried to unsettle my low thoughts of myself and guide me to a more tolerant worldview, one that did not see sin so objectively.
My gentle but biblical correction of this man’s theology may have done more for my own soul than his (& the others waiting in line). He seemed to brush off my words with indifference after his initial shock had evaporated; however, I was more impressed with the grace of God in my own life and a renewed burden for it to pervade others’ as well.
I am thankful for this providential reminder to be making opportunities as well as taking opportunities to proclaim the grace of God in salvation.
Join me in trying to be a good steward of what is trite and overused in society as an opportunity to herald the truth of Christ’s gospel.
If you have further evangelistic tools for conversation turners, feel free to leave them behind for us to put in the rotation as well.