Many Christians are intimidated by the idea of sharing their faith. Jesus never intended for the Great Commission to be an impossible burden. God meant for us to be witnesses of Jesus Christ through the natural outcome of living for him. We make it complicated. We think we must complete a 10-week course on evangelism and apologetics before getting started. God designed an easy evangelism program. He made it simple for us. Karen Wolff of Christian-Books-For-Women.com shows us practical ways to share our faith simply by being an example for Christ.
Faith for Me - Then You - In That Order
There's nothing worse than somebody trying to preach to you about something going on in your life when all you can think about is finding a way to fix it. At that moment, the last thing you want to see is somebody carrying a Bible, acting like they know exactly what you need and how you feel. And truth be told, when they ask you to read from their Bible, you're thinking you'd rather hit them over the head with it!
This is the very scenario that makes the concept of sharing your faith so intimidating. Most people would like to help others, but knowing what to say and how to say it stops you in your tracks. So how do share your faith without making people run and hide from you?
People can spot a phony from a mile away. The absolute worst thing you can do is say one thing and do another. If you aren't committed to applying Christian principles in your own life, you will not only be ineffective, but will be seen as insincere and phony. People aren't as interested in what you say, as they are in seeing how it's working in your life.
Here are some practical things you can do without having to say much at all:
- One of the best ways to share your faith is to demonstrate the very things you believe by staying positive and having a good attitude even in the middle of a crisis in your own life. Remember the story in the Bible about Peter walking out onto the water when Jesus called to him? He kept walking above the water as long as he stayed focused on Jesus. But once he focused on the storm, he sank.
When the people around you see the peace in your life, especially when it seems like you're surrounded by storms, you can bet they'll want to know how to get what you got! On the other hand, if all they see is the top of your head as you sink into the water, there's not a whole lot to ask.
- Treat people with respect and dignity, no matter the circumstances. Whenever you have the opportunity, show how you don't change how you treat people, no matter what. Jesus treated people right, even when they mistreated Him. People around you will wonder how you're able to show this kind of respect for others. You never know, they may even ask.
- Find ways to be a blessing to others. This not only plants amazing seeds for a harvest in your own life, it shows others that you're not a phony. It shows that you live what you believe. Saying you're a Christian is one thing, but living it in tangible ways every day is something else. The Word says, "They'll know them by their fruit."
- Don't compromise your beliefs. Situations happen every day where compromise is not only possible, but many times is expected. Show people that your Christianity means living a life of integrity. And oh yes, that means you tell the sales clerk when she undercharged you for that quart of milk!
- The ability to forgive quickly is a very powerful way to show how Christianity really works. Become a model of forgiveness. Nothing creates division, hostility, and turmoil more than an unwillingness to forgive the people who hurt you. Of course, there will be times when you are absolutely right. But being right doesn't give you a free pass to punish, humiliate, or embarrass someone else. And it most certainly doesn't eliminate your responsibility to forgive.
The best way to share your faith is to be an example.
People will want to know how you can be peaceful in the storm, why your kids are doing so well, why your marriage is so great, and how you know for sure about your purpose in life. And when they ask, you'll have all kinds of great stuff to share.
Karen Wolff, a contributing writer for About.com, is host to a Christian Web site for women. As founder of Christian-Books-for-Women.com, she wants to provide Christian women with a place to find practical information, tips, and help with a variety of issues they face every day. For more information visit Karen's Bio Page.