Over the past couple of months we’ve been on a journey to understand how to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. We’ve talked about the urgency to proclaim Jesus to lost people. We’ve talked about the need to see people as Jesus saw them: harassed and helpless, sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:32) and that unless I am deeply moved and truly disgusted by people dying in their sin apart from the salvation Jesus offers them I will never be genuinely resolved to do anything about it. In short, the Lord has revealed that unless I am resolved to share Jesus with the lost no amount of strategies, tactics or teachings are going to help me. We need to dig deeper. Only when I begin to see people the way Jesus saw them will the rest begin to make sense. This is a journey that God has taken me on in light of Adam’s passing several months ago (check out the previous blog postings if you haven’t)…I have not yet mastered this process, but I am learning from it. Here is what I’m learning:
When sharing your faith:
Embrace your Humanity – let people see the REAL you – not a religious or self-righteous facade…people see right through that smokescreen. People need to the see the real me as I encounter the good, bad and ugly of life. Paul said in 1 Thess. 2:8 “…we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our lives as well…” Allowing people to see my humanness, my failures, my victories, my struggles…and who I turn to in them…doesn’t detract from my testimony or God’s credibility – it adds to it. If I act like I have it all together and never show any signs of pain or struggle how in the world is someone who is hurting, lost or struggling going to relate to me? The world tells us to never show weakness, to suck it up, to smile and say “I’m great!” when you feel like you are about to implode. Don’t buy into that lie. Be real.
Validate and Appreciate People – Every single person on this planet is made in God’s image – think about that for a minute. If that’s true then I should be able to find something in the person I’m trying to share my faith that I can verbally appreciate or compliment them on (their work ethic, personality, knowledge, interest in cars, art, cool t-shirt, tattoo, etc.) Even if it’s something that I’m not personally interested in it’s an expression of creativity or artistic ability that ultimately God created them with. Find a way to appreciate the person you are sharing your faith with and then compliment them or let them know verbally that you appreciate them in some way. I’ve heard it said “People need to know how much you care before they care how much you know”. It’s true. Validate and appreciate people!