|ETERMINING YOUR witnessing style one of the essential components of your Christian Walk. Knowing how you best relate to others and how God can use you to share the word of God is a gift that keeps on giving, as more and more people are led to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not 'hang out at church' to reach the world, but looked to Take Christianity Into the World. Jesus did not just meet with other Believers, though he mentored and gained strength from fellow brethren, but he went out into the world, willing to get his hands dirty. Meeting with people who were infirmed/sick, weak-hearted, fearful and in sin, Jesus chose to meet with people "where the rubber meets the road." Jesus walked with others seeking to bring light in a lost and fallen world.|
Church Programs. Jesus did walk hand in hand with twelve others pouring his life into this disciples, but he did not focus on church meetings, church hierarchy, or attendance. Though these things are important as honoring the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments, the Bible encourages us to gather together, gaining strength and wisdom for the battles ahead. Church Programs, Bible Study groups and most importantly your own search for reading and Bible study/research are essential to growth and to gain wisdom to sharing the gift of Jesus Christ with others.
Bible Thumpers. There is a time and place for everything. Knowing when to say when takes time wisdom and patience. In life I have learned that the best things that I say, are the words I do not speak. People need love and grace: not judgment. So is it true when witnessing. Leading others to Christ is not for those who are faint hearted as Christ himself was described as the Lion of Judah. However, when Christ met the woman at the well, who was living in adultery, he did not quote scripture or read a verse, but urged her simply to "Go and Sin no More." Often as Believers, we stumble in our efforts to speak "truth," when need more is our support and encouragement.
Sharing Your Failings. Everyone has a witnessing style. Many I witness to are struggling with guilt, loss and fear. When witnessing, it is unwise at initial stages to offer much more than a listening ear and empathy. People in your life want more than anything to be heard. Listening intently learning where people are "coming from" allows you to better discern how you can best help. If you jump in with your "canned response" you will miss both the prompting of the Holy Spirit and the depth and true nature of a Seeker's fears and dilemmas. Though Jesus had none of his own sin to share, he did not judge others. To make people feel comfortable, sharing my own failings illustrates that I am not better, but a sinner myself. By meeting people where they are, we are most apt, to offer empathy and God's love. Jesus frequently spoke in parables making it easier for us and others to understand. Over the centuries of time, having an example to go by remains a proven and effective form of opening a dialogue and to enlighten.
You Do Not Understand. Just being there for someone is one the best things you can do for others who are seeking the Joy in Christ. In the book of Job in the Old Testament where after Job's calamities, his friends came and sat with him, in silence, as was Jewish custom of that day. It was during this time of their silence that Job was offered the strength and support of his friends. However, as soon as Job's friends began talking they began misquoted scripture, were judgmental and indeed chastised their "friend." These are friends in our lives we can do without. As we have never walked through the trials of others and what exactly they have endured, thus we cannot say "we understand" when truly we are an outsider. Often keeping in mind it is more important to be there, than to talk, would do much to help others. Conversations with those we share Christ love with, are best guided by the Holy Spirit, which we cannot hear, if we are busy pontificating a point.
Do Others Know. Most of your testimony will be determined as what you do in the world; not at church. Do people regularly seek you ought to discuss God's word, missions, mentoring, and to seek to learn from you what you know about the Kingdom of God? Witnessing has nothing to do with what you do on Sunday; that is for you. Witnessing has to do with how you interact with others at work, in school, the PTA, sports, friends, associations, business groups, or many of the other varied activities that you might participate. This is where the "metal hits the road" and where God discovers whether you hold true to his precepts or whether you follow the ways of the world.
By Your Fruits. Matthew 7:20 "Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them." Perhaps there is no clearer verse anywhere in the Bible, nor one that is most often ignored. This verse tells us that if we are indeed Believers, no one will have to ask or inquire about to whom you serve, but will know who you are by your actions, deeds and lastly words. Actions and deeds are true benchmarks of what you value. To test your words, seek to learn "do my words align with my actions." For if they do not, you will be like non-Believers who do not hear and do not know His love.
Your Testimony. All Believers have a testimony. Not all Believers chose to share it. Your walk with Christ and your life, is unique to you alone. God's word promises that he uses all things for Good. Accordingly, the trials that have happened to you along life's way shape and mold you, so you might share with others who are going through similar circumstances. Though this does not make you truly understand what someone else is experiencing at a given time, it gives you an mutual interest in common sufferings, enabling you to have specific insight to what roads they are traveling. Being aware of where you have been, how God's grace was revealed to you in your life, and what God has done and continues to mean to you, in your life, are basic tenants of a strong Christian testimony.
John Dillard is an author and Certified Public Accountant (All Rights Reserved). To See how he takes Christ along with him to work visit http://www.hiscpa.com/(a Christian CPA firm) and for his latest book Overcoming Life's 9/11's: Job's Journey visit www.John-Dillard.com "Dare to Attempt Something so Great for the Kingdom of God that it is doomed to failure, lest Christ be in it!"
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