Gentleness and respect
Sharing the gospel is not an act of agression.
The ultimate task
When Jesus left the disciples, he commissioned them (and us) with the most important job ever…which ultimately is to go and share the reason for the hope we have. We once were lost, but now are found, we once were dead, but now we live. We owe it all to Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay our debt, and in conquering death, he has made a way for all who believe in him to have eternal life! What a HOPE and JOY we have!!
And yet, Christians have often been guilty of being forceful and aggressive in the way we communicate the gospel.
Have you ever had a discussion with someone about Christianity, and it just turns into loud arguments and trading of insults?
As I was thinking about this, 1 Peter 3:15 came to mind. It explains that we should always be prepared to share the hope we have, but in GENTLENESS and RESPECT.
In light of this, I have been thinking about the following:
Why your actions matter
Of course we do need to tell people the truth about Jesus, however sharing the gospel goes beyond words and speech. Where it starts is in how we live our lives, and the actions we make. Our words and speech are no good whatsoever if our lives and actions do not back them up.
To sum it up, we simply need to:
1st) Love God with all that we are, and
2nd) Love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). Everything else will follow correctly if we have those two things right.
Why your words matter
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…" – 1 Peter 3:15
We will never win a heart over by insulting someone or their religion (or their atheism). Winning a heart over for Jesus is done in, and through, love. Our words matter, and we need to speak the truth in love.
"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" (Romans 10:14)
I challenge all of us to check our lives and actions, words and speech, by the standard Jesus has set before us.