The Bruce Lee Moment is the moment when you defeat someone and look cool doing it. It’s more than just beating an opponent. It’s stealing that opponent’s soul. Crushing their spirit. Tasting the blood from the wound that they gave you, making a crazy screaming noise and jumping 6 feet in the air to deliver the final blow. If photographers are present, they take pictures of Bruce Lee Moments and turn them into posters and t-shirts.
I’ve never had a Bruce Lee Moment.
Until last Friday.
I was surprised to see the two ladies standing in my driveway. Sort of. Lately, pretty much every belief system on the planet has sent its representatives to my driveway. But seeing as how they never call first, I’m still surprised when they stop by.
The two ladies were very nice and well-dressed. They wanted to tell me about Jesus. Actually, they just wanted to give me something about Jesus. It was one of those flyers the Jehovah’s Witnesses always give out. You know what I’m talking about. The one where Jesus looks like one of the Allman Brothers.
After they handed me the brochure they started to walk off. I stopped them with a question.
“Tell me about Jesus.”
And so they did.
I had more questions.
“Do you worship Jesus?”
They assured me that they did. They loved to worship Jesus. They wanted everyone to worship Jesus.
Then came my next question.
“Is Jesus God?”
They assured me that he was not. Jesus was a higher being. He was an angel. He’s good. But he’s not God.
Here comes my Bruce Lee Moment.
“If Jesus isn’t God, what are you doing worshiping him? Isn’t that idolatry.”
They had nothing to say.
Just when I started to jump up into the air and make that funny screaming noise, just when I moved in for the soul-killing, spirit-crushing death blow, just when the imaginary photographers in my head were starting to take my picture and turn it into a poster, something happened.
Something stirred in my own spirit.
In a way that only he can, God quietly reminded me of my mission. It’s not to win a debate. It’s to lovingly tell the truth and make disciples.
So I never got to make that funny screaming sound. I set my nunchucks on the ground and just talked. But I tried to do so with a motive of love rather than a motive of winning or posterizing someone.
Our conversation went as expected. We went back and forth about the Trinity. They quoted John 14:28. I referenced Philippians 2 and Hebrews 1. Those passages always seem to come up in these types of conversations.
Finally, it was time for them to leave. I asked if I could pray with them and they said no. But that’s when things changed. They asked if they could come back. They said that they wanted to hear more of what I had to say about Jesus. And then they thanked me for not yelling at them. Basically, they thanked me for not having a Bruce Lee Moment at their expense.
It is impossible for Christians to make any kind of an impact without the truth. Trust me, plenty have tried by sacrificing what is right for what is socially acceptable or popular. What’s left is something that looks like salt but tastes like nothing (Matthew 5:13).
Others have a firm grasp on the truth but not such a good idea of what it means to love others. These are the ones who try to Adam and Steve homosexuals away from sin and who believe that holiness is best displayed through loudness, rudeness and Facebook rants WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS!!!!!!!
Instead, God calls his people to speak the truth but to do so in a loving way (Ephesians 4:15, 25-32).
When Christians abandon truth, no matter how loving we may appear or how winsome we may be, we really aren’t saying anything different from the rest of the world.
When we speak the truth without love, no one listens to us, no matter how loud we talk (1 Corinthians 13:1)
So I still haven’t had my Bruce Lee Moment. That’s okay. If I did have one that morning in my driveway, those ladies probably wouldn’t come back. No one wants to be Chuck Norris to your Bruce Lee (apologies to all the Chuck Norris fans out there).
But they do need to hear the truth.
And no matter what you have to say or how eloquently you say it, no one will listen if you’re not saying it in love.