I’m going to miss Tim Russert. I didn’t know him personally, but I greatly admired his work and his seemingly unbiased style of presenting political news. I always felt that when I heard it from Tim, I heard it straight. Washington DC is a world driven by opinions and agendas, and I am sure that Tim had his share of them as well. But, he somehow managed to put them aside when he was on the job. His honest and fair delivery created a trust between him, the guests on his show and his viewers. I can think of no other person in the media today who has garnered that kind of respect from such a vast and diverse audience.
We can all learn a lesson from Tim. Especially those of us who are hoping to tell people about the best news of all…the Good News about Jesus. The message of the Gospel is very straightforward and does not need to be sensationalized, manipulated, dressed up or dumbed-down. But, all too often we allow our own agendas, opinions and biases to cloud its message. When we do this, not only do we lose credibility in the eyes of the people we are trying to reach, so does the Gospel.
Paul had the right perspective about evangelism when he wrote this verse in Corinthians "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." (1 Cor. 3:6-7)
Later in Corinthians, Paul reminds us that our own words and ideas can do way more harm than good. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. (1 Corinthians 1:17)
The next time you feel led to tell someone about Jesus, take a moment to ask God to help you to clear your heart of anything that comes from you and not from the truth. Pray that your motivation will be pure and that the message you deliver will be the unadulterated truth about Jesus Christ.