After all that talk about prayer, I’m sure that many of you would like to hear about something different and I am happy to oblige. I would like to devote this post to what comes after all the praying…and in between all the other praying! After reading my last post, some of you may be asking how to put that prayer for others into action. Thankfully, Paul has given us some instructions on this topic as well. “But Paul always talks about prayer. Why should I listen to his advice on witnessing”? Paul was a missionary by nature. He traveled all over spreading the Good News of Jesus with many people. I think it is probably safe to trust what he has to say about witnessing.
In Colossians 4: 5-6, Paul tells us that we should “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outsiders, redeeming the time”. Now, this could be interpreted in many different ways but if its read in context, it is clear that Paul is telling us how to approach and communicate with those who are in need of God’s salvation. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer each one”. The first element of this is to use our God-given wisdom when we are sharing the gospel with others and be mindful of how we are using our time witnessing to them. We may often get so in-depth about what we are sharing that we may lose the interest of the listener and therefore need to be aware of the level of attention and interest that is being given. Secondly, we should consider our words and choose them carefully. As Christians we often get a bad rap due to coming across as self-righteous to non-believers. This is something we want to avoid. Rather than speaking in judgement of that person’s lifestyle or choices, we should share with them God’s mercy and grace. Lastly, we don’t want to come across as some bible-thumping, dead-pan, know-it-all. Just as in effective teaching, we want those non-believers to see that we are human, too, and to feel that they can relate to us so being able to keep the conversation on the lighter side is always helpful. Rather than overloading them on fire and brimstone right off the bat, try sharing verses that describe our eternal life with Jesus and the rewards that are offered to those who believe in Him. Let them know that just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you can’t joke around and be light-hearted but don’t forget that it is most important to always share what Jesus teaches us is true rather than what the world teaches us is true.