Fishing Techniques

D L Henderson
6 min readFeb 6, 2023

Modus operandi is defined in the Google dictionary as “a particular way or method of doing something, especially one that is characteristic or well-established.” As an essayist, my topics are always interwoven with the Bible. I try to use a very straightforward methodology and intend to have no hidden meanings, no mysteries swirling about. Recently, I have used an audio reader to go over my old writings, and if I do say so myself, they aren’t half bad. So, I have begun to wonder why few seem to be reading them. Am I doing something wrong? Why aren’t people responding in some way? There’s not a peep of constructive criticism or reasonable discussion or even righteous indignation. It seems I don’t have even the smallest of peanut galleries.

It’s not that I worry about all that, because I believe that I do have purpose and right intentions, and those intentions are definitely not about me. So, as I wander and wonder, several more realistic thoughts have come to mind…

First of all, people are simply too busy with other priorities. Well, that makes sense. My life has been pretty busy, too. Yes, life is very demanding and people have responsibilities, and they are taking care of business. So, we look only for small distractions and bits of humor, or awesome scenery and the like. That’s healthy. So, I have suggested a couple reliable and short daily devotionals that take no more than five to ten minutes. By reliable I mean from reliably Bible-Believing, Born-Again Christians… In addition, I always recommend reading a modern Bible translation for oneself. That is, to get the words “direct from the horse’s mouth,” to hear the message of the Bible for yourself. (https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app/ or biblehub.com)

Another reason is that people aren’t buying anything even slightly related to Christianity. It’s nothing personal. People simply don’t care to hear it. They think that they have heard it all before and are a little put off by it.

I seem to be selling in a very specialized market. I certainly can understand why nobody is coming into my shop. In many shops like mine, there is so much poor merchandise being sold to customers at a premium price, and often, there is nothing very attractive for window shoppers. So, I don’t buy much either. But then, I try to be an educated consumer. Yes, there are so many complaints that the word gets around to avoid this part of town. I understand completely.

Instead of trying to debate or to attempt to refute all complaints, how about this? I suggest everyone turn their eyeballs around to look inside themselves and to examine the quality of what you yourself is selling. (Everybody is selling something- even if it’s their point not to be selling anything at all!) Or, I suggest complainers ought to peer into that magic mirror on the wall that gives them their special insight. You may have stowed it away someplace, but still vaguely remember what it told you. You know the one- that mirror you have stood in front of, inquiring “Mirror, mirror on the wall…?”

You need to see, in a way, a very human way, there is no difference in the lives of Born Again folks and every other person in the world. We all make mistakes. We all struggle against similar problems. And I’ve never met anyone who claims Jesus as their Lord and Savior who also claims to be a perfect person! What I do hear them say is, “Jesus changed my life, and God is not finished with me yet!”

As for me I’ve admitted in my essays how far from perfect I am, and that God is not finished with me, either. I am also confident that the changes He is continuing to put me through are for my own good.

Jesus would help you in the same way, if you will let Him.

Notwithstanding all that, I have to ask, “Why does it seem everyone cops an attitude against Born Again Christians?” Cynics refuse to take their hands off our necks, even having a special phrase for us: “You act holier than thou.” Or, they throw this phrase at us: “You are too judgmental.”

Really?!? Your judging other people for being too judgmental? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I think maybe only one side of the crew is rowing your boat. Maybe it is truer than I thought about that “Circle of Life” since a lot of people seem to be into circular travel!.

Look. We are all in the same Boat. We all live on the same planet. We all have to face the facts of life. The Bible says that everybody sins and falls short. Isn’t that absolutely true? How can any person judge another person and maintain their own integrity? We harm others, and we are harmed by others. Round and round it goes. Where it stops… only God the Father knows. It could stop with you.

Anyways, here’s a little item out of my sales catalog which I’m handing out for free: Everybody is trying to sell something, some idea, some thing, any thing. Here’s how you can know whether it is of quality and truth or is of inferior quality and false: The liar uses a baited hook and a lure to draw you in for his catch. A genuinely true person instead uses a net to gather you onto shore. Yeah… Perhaps it’s not the best of metaphors, but I believe you are smart enough to catch my drift.

Jesus used a lot of parables to help people catch His drift. Maybe this will give more clarity: Jesus spent a lot of His time in and around fishing villages. Some of His disciples were actually fishermen. The common method for fishing was casting nets. Once brought on shore, the bad fish would be thrown out and the good fish would be kept. That was their modus operandi, their fishing technique.

When Jesus called His disciple He said that He would make them fishers of people. Jesus is not baiting you and neither did His disciples. Neither are the Born Again folks. They all are telling you the truth they have discovered and practiced themselves. They are trying to help gather people in. They are not afraid to tell you where their favorite fishing spot is, either. Yes. I do also know, and I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, I realize that there are many liars and false Christians in the world, trying to lure you with elaborate schemes- schemes making themselves rich, not you. And the wealth they talk about is one that perishes with the using. The wealth of the Gospel endures forever and increases its wealth the more it is used.

Don’t let the false keep you from the true. Jesus is still the Captain of the Boat. Yet, people have to choose to crew with Him. It isn’t like being “shanghaied.” In the Gospel of John 6:37 Jesus promises you won’t be keelhauled or abandoned on some spit of land in the middle of some ocean. Instead Jesus promises this: “He who comes to me I will in no way throw out.”

I don’t know about your preference, but I like the idea of Jesus dragging me to shore.

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between