Witnessing. What comes to your mind from this one word? For some in the church this is a scary concept. They feel like they should, they just aren’t sure how. For others it brings up guilt – maybe they feel they never have and don’t know why. For some it brings up anger toward the church and for others they feel like they are not qualified to share the good news.
At times, we believe we should witness without words – letting our lives do the talking. This is very important. But words are also important.
So, what do we do?
This morning, I ran across across Colossians 4:5-6, a wonderfully simple verse to help Christians make an impact on the lives of non Christians.
5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive[a]so that you will have the right response for everyone.
So from those two verses, we can see these simple tips for making an impact on the non believing friends, neighbors and family members around us.
Use good judgement when making decisions about your life. Instill and practice disciplines in your life. Living wisely in big and small areas of our lives will be a witness to non believing friends, neighbors and family members. Live wisely in regard to how you handle money, how you handle your family, how you handle your schedule, how you handle your eating and exercising. These things will be noticed. In a world where personal discipline is out of control, wise and godly living will attract questions and comments from others.
BE AMONG THOSE WHO DON’T BELIEVE
Make sure your paths are confidently crossing with those who aren’t believers. Don’t shy away from connecting with others in your world. If you attend sporting events, enjoy meeting people and interacting on those levels. If you enjoy music or art, connect in those areas. As you live life, smile, be open and ready and allow time for connections with people. Be open to connections with neighbors and friends!
MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY
This is a great concept to keep in our minds. When we are at home, we should maximize our time with our family. When we are at work, we should put all our energy there for the time allotted. If you are waiting for a practice to end, getting the oil changed or stopping at the bank, you can use these brief encounters to encourage others. Try this – go up and say “thank you” to the front line workers at a fast food restaurant after you have eaten and as you are leaving. They will be shocked. It’s a great opportunity.
Don’t wait for the perfect scenario in this regard; use the opportunities you do have to live out your faith.
BE IN CONVERSATION
Witnessing isn’t a one way sermon or teaching time, it’s conversation, visiting, talking – back and forth with people to which you are connected or getting connected. Conversation is a way for Christians to share faith. Though sharing scripture and prayers is important and very relevant you don’t have to include it all the time to have an impact. Your genuine care for someone has a huge impact. Sometimes just mentioning “church” during a conversation about schedules and lives can have an impact on someone with whom you are visiting.
USE GRACIOUS AND ATTRACTIVE WORDS
Your conversation and words must be gracious and attractive. Don’t fill it up with badmouthing people, don’t use curse words, and don’t be cruel. Encourage, speak confidently, optimistically, gracefully and wisely. Ask questions, be interested and allow your conversations with people to be natural and attractive. Build others up. Attractive words will draw people in.
HAVE THE RIGHT RESPONSE FOR EVERYONE
Make a habit of this. God will use our lives, even in our weaknesses, to help others know Him! As we seek God and his spirit, we can trust that the right words will come at the right time in the right way for people.
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