Yesterday I had another great conversation with a friend from school. My friend is not a follower of Jesus, but she is interested and curious enough to listen and have a conversation about God.
We became friends last fall, and since then, we have had several fruitful and enjoyable conversations about Jesus, life, faith, relationships, and the like.
It is always a joy for me to connect with others and hear their stories, passions and dreams. I find this fulfilling and energizing, especially when Jesus is the center of it all. I could spend hours and hours talking about Jesus, without realizing (and noticing) that time is passing by. (I mean, come on, time flies when you are having fun, right?).
Every morning (well, at least when I remember), I always like to pray for God to give me an opportunity to talk, pray, encourage, teach, disciple, motivate, and love others.
To this day, God has been faithful in answering that prayer. It always amazes me to see how God works in and through my life, for His glory and for the good of others.
As I was sitting in my car, writing and thanking God for a wonderful day at school, I asked myself the following question: Does my friend, Jessie (not her real name), know me more for what I am against rather than what I am for? It was something to think about.
What about you? Do others know you mostly for what you are against or for what you are for? When others hear your name, what do they think of? What do they say?
It is so tragic to hear that there is a lot of Christians who are known mostly for what they are against, and not for what they are for. This is a big turn off for the unbeliever and the skeptic.
There are so many people out there—neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family members—who are eager to hear more about Jesus, but because we are too busy proclaiming what we are against, they tend to walk away without having the opportunity to hear about the gospel.
This is due primarily because of the barriers that we sometimes create due to our lack of communication, patience, and if we are honest, love. Such walls prevent us from having gospel-centered conversations and fruitful dialogue, which is essential for building long-lasting, and intentional relationships.
As believers, we know God’s eternal and unchanging truth, and we are responsible to communicate it; but, we must communicate it in a loving and kindly way, not by forcing or imposing it on others against their will. We must imitate our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and be humble about it.
Speaking the truth and sharing the gospel with others is not easy. If I told you otherwise, I would be lying. There are times when my friend and I have our disagreements and points of tension.
Sometimes she does not accept or agree with what I say, but at the end, we walk away thanking each other for the chance to talk and converse and build a stronger friendship.
Next time we pray, let’s ask God to give us more opportunities to share the gospel. I believe there will be a time to unapologetically speak God’s truth, and there will also be a time to show others what we are for rather than what we are against.
Now, let me be clear. The problem is not speaking the truth, but when and how we go about it. We must be careful and wise enough to know when to speak and when to listen.
As believers, we are called to preach the gospel, both in word and in deed, just like Jesus did. Each opportunity is unique and there is not a “one size fits all” method of sharing the gospel.
How we go about sharing the gospel will vary depending on the situation we are involved in, and the people we are ministering to.
The message—the gospel of Jesus Christ—does not change, but our communication methods must adapt and adjust according to the need of the moment.
Sometimes, we are called to defend the truth against atheism, and at other times, we are called to preach the gospel by showing love and compassion. Both are necessary and important when it comes to reaching out to others.
It will take wisdom to know what to do in a given situation. When an opportunity arises, and God puts someone in your path, take full advantage of it and tell him or her all about Jesus and His unconditional, life-transforming love.
You can do it! I believe in you, and so does God!
Do you have any similar examples or stories about sharing the gospel with others? If so (and I know you do), please write a comment and share it with me below. I would love to hear all about it.
For His glory,