“Bothering to Tell Someone What They Need to Know”

Posted: June 27, 2015 in Discipleship, Evangelism, Pastoral Ministry, Stories
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In August of 2010, communications specialist Judy Rivers went to her local bank to open a new account. As the clerk input Rivers’s personal information, everything appeared to be going smoothly until the woman behind the desk stopped abruptly and frowned.

“That’s odd,” she said, “There seems to be an issue regarding your Social Security number.” Can you imagine the sense of dread Rivers’s must have felt? The bank employee excused herself, explaining that she needed to see her supervisor disappeared to the back room. Several minutes later, Rivers was greeted by the branch manager.

“Ma’am,” the woman pronounced, holding a folded paper, “your Social Security number was deactivated in 2008 due to death.”

Incredulous, Rivers rose from her chair, “You’re trying to tell me that I’ve been dead for two years,” she stammered, “and no one bothered to tell me?”

Surprisingly, what happened to Rivers occurs more often than I would have guessed. It is estimated that more than 12,000 U.S. citizens are declared dead by the Social Security Administration due to “keystroke errors.” In 2011, the Office of the Inspector General conducted an audit of the Death Master File, and found that, from May 2007 to April 2010, some 36,657 people had been added to the master file, making them legally dead — at least according to the Social Security Administration. Those affected become like the walking dead, unable to secure a job, make financial transactions, file taxes, or visit the doctor. For months on end, they must endure the nightmare of convincing a large bureaucracy that they have not yet “bitten the dust.”

This made me think about all the people who think that they are living but who are actually dead. At the beginning of Ephesians 2, Paul wrote, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world” (Eph. 2:1). People without Christ may appear to be living full lives; however, they are dead spiritually. They may go to school, to work, get married, have children, enjoy many of the things of live, but if never embrace Christ, they will face a horrible end — judgment before God and eternal damnation in hell.

I cannot imagine the frustration and inconvenience that Judy Rivers and others like her must have dealt with because, to paraphrase her words, “No one bothered to her that she was dead.” But what she experienced with the Social Security Administration is nothing compared to those who have had someone “bother to tell them” that they were spiritually dead.

I’m glad someone bothered to tell me about Christ and how to find true life in Him! Who has God placed on your heart to tell about Jesus Christ? Let’s follow through and take time to share with them how you came to Christ and how they can as well.

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