In a discussion about sharing Christ with others, one person had this to say…
“But I can see now that I’m very little help if somebody comes up to me and asks me questions about God or Jesus Christ. I can certainly witness and share my testimony, but unless I’ve got a Bible right there (and unfortunately, my Bibles are all right here by the computer -- note to self: keep a Bible in the van), I can’t tell them exactly where to turn in the Bible to find the answers they are looking for. I’d like to be able to jot down scriptures for them to take home and read in their own time.”
Wouldn’t it be great if the Holy Spirit gave us the exact words to say each time we are sharing Christ, so that whomever we are witnessing to, they might easily and fully understand, and give their life over to Jesus right there on the spot?
I know I have been both victim and offender when it comes to sharing Christ in an ‘over-zealous’ manner. I can easily remember being ‘turned off’ (in the past) by a person’s passionate plea for me to turn my life over to Christ. I can just as easily recall doing the same to others, after I had accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Early in our walk with Christ, many of us have great enthusiasm and excitement, but little-to-no maturity or composure. I was much like that early in my walk with Christ. On more than one occasion I was a poor ambassador of Christ when trying to share the gospel with someone who was adversarial to the message.
An old proverb states that, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” I can clearly see how that proverb relates to many of us when we are “zealously witnessing for the Lord.” Which is why, I guess, that I cringe when I see and hear others sharing Christ without the LOVE and COMPASSION of Christ.
I understand that – as a ‘Christian’ – it is natural and right to want to share our faith with others. But I also understand and believe that, the BEST and most effective way we can accomplish this, is through LIVING BY EXAMPLE. (attraction vs. promotion)
There are many eyes upon those of us who claim Christ. Some of them are watching and waiting for us to stumble and fall (which I do repeatedly). But if we are truly walking in step with the Spirit of Holiness and are earnestly striving to live in obedience to Christ’s teachings, then they also see us getting right back up again and [-in faith-] continue to “run the race to win the prize”.
Deep in my heart I know that my walk speaks volumes more than any amount of scripture that I can quote from memory. Most everyone I’ve encountered knows what a Bible is, what it is for, and where they can find one to read, should they desire and/or be moved to do so. Granted, not everyone knows how to read, and not everyone who can read, is able to fully comprehend its contents. However, I do believe that if one is truly seeking to know God, then God will ensure that person comes to understand enough of His Word [what's in the Bible], to be able to make a personal decision to believe and trust in Christ.
I believe it is more important that, in my daily life, and most especially in my interactions with others – ESPECIALLY when sharing my faith – that my words and heart reflect the love of Christ. For it is not how much of the bible I can quote that will touch someone’s heart, but rather how much of Christ they can see in me. If they can’t see Christ in me, than I have nothing to share. Or as the Apostle Paul put it;
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 RSV
So I think I’ll just keep searching God’s Word and let the Holy Spirit keep writing God’s commandments on my heart, so that I might be a “living witness” and testimony of God’s love. As a disciple of Christ, my task is to share Christ’s love, not to proselytize. For far too long, far too many of us have been trying to do God’s job for Him. God’s Spirit of Holiness is the only one who can move a person’s heart toward God. Our task is to reflect the love and compassion of Christ, and leave the convicting to God.