We have all know that person – you know, that “Jesus person” – the person who always finds a way to (awkwardly) bring up Jesus in every conversation. At times you feel uncomfortable around them even if you already believe in Jesus, at times you may feel like you could just talk about a subject without hearing how it connects to the Bible (“you know what this cheeseburger reminds me of? JESUS!”). Don’t get me wrong – Jesus is with us every minute of our lives, and Jesus is part of every area of our lives. Yet when Jesus walked among us He did more than preach and call disciples – He ate, slept, spent time with friends, and even went to festivals and weddings (parties). Jesus was clearly a holy man – and that included having fun. Yes, fun is holy.
Let me be honest – I have been “that person” before in my life. I have been a little too in your face and logically cramming the gospel down your throat. What I have found (in my recovery!) is that we all start a little shaky in sharing our faith – we won’t get it right to begin with. God has grown me to make witnessing be more natural, and more a part of every day life. Every conversation does not come back to Jesus. People know I am a Christian, and I can share what I think on sports, politics, life, friendship, etc without trying to make a “preachy point”. This has also allowed me to be a genuine friend to non-Christians more and more. Faith conversations happen when we walk with people through life and wait for God (who is working in their lives) opens the right opportunity.
Most of all I have found that people need each other. We have very real problems and need each other – to listen to each other, help each other, and pray for each other. Evangelism often just starts with ENCOURAGEMENT – kind words, smiles, high fives, hugs, praise. People need encouragement, and most people don’t get enough each day. Jesus wants to encourage every person on this planet. I think this is what Jesus called us to when He told us to be witnesses (Luke 24:48) – people who have seen His suffering for others, and are willing to give encouragement and to suffer for others too – because they are filled with God’s love and power. Too often people don’t listen to each other. We can reach out and run to the pain of others because we have God’s love inside of us (God Himself can live inside of us).
What I am saying most of all is that witnessing is not something to be afraid of. Sure we will all make mistakes when we first start following Jesus in this way. As we follow Him, we can find ways to have evangelism (sharing good news) be more natural, more caring, more encouraging, and more a part of our every day lives. Being a witness to the love of Christ is all about walking with Jesus and walking with people – and what a joy it is to join in with what Jesus is doing in this world!