I came across this video earlier in the week. A friend posted it on their Facebook page and I have been going over it in my mind all week. It is a video blog posted by Penn Jillette, the illusionist. In the video Penn, an atheist, recounts a conversation that occurred after a Penn & Teller show between him and a Christian business man. Watch the video below and then read my observations. (If you are reading this in RSS you may need to click through to see the video)
Ok, now for some observations:
Genuiness. The first thig that Pen noticed about this man was that he was GENUINE. The way the man complemented the show and spoke praise to Penn & Teller came across as real and from the heart. Penn also saw that this genuine nature wasn’t just evident in the way he praised the show. This man had a genuine concern for Penn’s soul. Having the character trait of being genuine with and about people was shared by Timothy in the Bible. In the letter to the Philippians, Paul writes that Timothy was a man who had real and genuine concern for the people of Philippi. Paul writes, “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.” (Philippians 2:19-22)
Boldness. Acts 14:3 says, “So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time (in Iconium), speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.” Penn Jillette is a bear of a man. At 6’6″ he towers over most men and his booming voice looms large as well. Penn speaks his mind and is very animated when he talks. As nice as he seems most people would try to avoid any argument with this vivacious magician. However, it was the boldness of this man that seemed to capture Penn’s attention and his respect. It seems that Penn wasn’t the only one pulling off amazing wonders that night. God had a few tricks up his sleeve as well.
Love. Penn argues, “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” Penn, a dedicated atheist, believes that sharing your faith in Jesus Christ is ultimately an act of love and that keeping quiet about your faith is actually telling the world that you hate them and want them to go to hell. Think about that one for a minute.
One. In the video clip, you can tell that Penn is wrestling with the entire situation. He isn’t dismissive. He was touched. He isn’t defensive. He’s disarmed. He isn’t angry. He is thankful. One man. One incident. One gift. One conversation. That’s all it took.
“I know there’s no God and one polite person doesn’t change that… but I’ll tell ya, that was a very, very, very good man. And… that’s real important. And with that kind of goodness… it’s ok to have that deep of a disagreement. And I still think that religion still does a lot of bad stuff, but, man, that was good man who gave me that book.”
I’ve really been thinking about this video all week. How can I make an impact on others the way this man impacted Penn? I hope that I too can be GENUINE, BOLD, and LOVING to others so that God can use me to impact others in His name.