In these posts we are asking what habits have I found helpful in my maturing process as a believer. Reading God’s Word, spending time in prayer, developing an attitude of gratefulness, and being alone with Him are vital to my daily walk.
A fifth habit that I’m working on is being ready to witness to others. I know. I know. Witnessing seems to be such a burden, such an opportunity to embarrass oneself. So how can we take the sting out of sharing Jesus with others?
Here are a few considerations that have helped me. First, I need to remind myself that I am on a mission for the Lord. In John 17 Jesus makes it clear that He has sent us into the world to represent Him. Not to witness is clear disobedience to the continuance of His mission!
Second, I am slowly learning that every person has a story to tell and they just need to know that someone will listen! If we are willing to spend time with others and we let them know we will listen to them, they will begin to open up and share their lives with us. Evangelism by strafing (like a combat plane over an enemy encampment) is not witnessing.
When they know we will listen to their story, there will be places where we can carefully insert gospel truth. Some of these conversations may seem fruitless (like listening for a half an hour to one friend complain about the cost of shingling her house), but they are investments in long-term relationships!
Inevitably those who share their stories with us will begin to ask us questions. And it’s a whole lot easier to witness when we’re being asked questions, right?
In our next post I want to talk about a topic many of us need to really work hard at — the topic of basic friendship! But let me ask you — whose story are you going to listen to today?
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry . . .” (James 1:9)