I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. (Matt. 9:13)

MANY CHRISTIANS NO LONGER have unbelieving friends. When I decided to follow Jesus at the age of fifteen, it changed my whole life. I stopped going to some places I used to visit. I stopped doing some things I had been doing. And I stopped hanging out with some of the friends I had known since I was in first grade.

Part of that was for my own survival. As a new believer, I did not want to be tempted by the things that used to tempt me. Some of my friends lived a lifestyle that no longer appealed to me. But in separating myself from the sins, I also separated myself from the sinners.

Although I made some attempts to share my faith with them, they held me at arm’s length. In spite of the fact that I cared about them, they probably sensed I wasn’t very comfortable around them.

As I grew more mature, I had more success in sharing my faith and bringing others to Jesus. But I’ve always wished I had done a better job in those early days.

C. T. Studd, the renowned missionary, used to quote these four lines:

Some want to live within the sound

Of church or chapel bell;

I want to run a rescue shop

Within a yard of hell.

His desire—like Jesus—was to call sinners to repentance.

O God, like Jesus, may I be instrumental in bringing others to You.

Ron McClung lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have been married for fifty-one years and have two sons and nine grandchildren.