When I was a kid, my family spent a fair bit of time working puzzles. For whatever reason, working puzzles was a family event and we would all gather round and work on them together until, at long last, the picture was finally complete. Almost always we’d be missing a piece or two at the very end and a frantic search would begin. Had it fallen under the table? Gotten kicked under a chair? Where was the missing piece? More than once, our search ended not on the floor but in someone’s pants pocket as we discovered that one family member, desperate for the great honor of putting in the last piece, had hidden it away there. Regardless, our search did not end until we found it. We looked both because we wanted the sense of satisfying closure that is the goal of working a puzzle and because we did not want the picture we had worked so hard on to be marred by its lack of even one piece.
The Christian life is also like a puzzle in some ways. Not in the sense of being complicated, or even in the sense of having a large number of pieces to make the picture. No the Christian life is like a puzzle because we have a picture we are using as a reference for the result we are trying to achieve. We read our Bibles and in so doing, we find out how our lives are supposed to look and what pieces we need for our lives to look like Jesus’ life. But you know something? The more Christians that I meet, the more I find that many of us are trying to assemble the puzzle with a big important piece missing.
That piece, more often than not, is personal evangelism. While we believe that evangelism is important and even support missionaries to share the gospel in other places, within 5 years of their conversion, most Christians do not have any non-Christian friends. And so, instead of having their life show a beautiful picture of Jesus, many Christians have a big hole where evangelism should be.