Is Your Witness
Falling on Deaf Ears?
Do you find some of your co-workers or neighbors totally uninterested in the Christian faith? Are some even openly hostile? Have you become a target for their venom?
Jesus called us to be His witnesses (Acts 1:6-8), but that is not a call to convert others. Conversion is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-11). That means that we need not measure our success in witnessing by the number who respond. If that were the case, Jesus would have often been considered a failure: many who heard Him, and even some who followed Him, turned out to be uninterested (John 6:60-66).
The fact is that people are in various conditions when it comes to their spiritual matters, as Jesus' parable of the four kinds of soils illustrate (Mark 4:3-20). One thing we as "farmers" can't do is change the soil. But we can offer good seed and do the best we can to nurture whatever faith sprouts up (1 Cor 3:7-9). One way to do that is by continually working out our faith in day-to-day life (Phil 2:12-13; James 2:14-26), making it available for others to consider rather than hiding it (Mark 4:21-23). How others react is between them and God.
That's not to suggest that we should be detached or uncaring about others and their responses. Scripture challenges us to love others as we love ourselves. We need to make a friend, be a friend, and then bring that friend to Christ. As a friend, we can then make available to them our experience of faith. We can do this by making ourselves available to God to be used with anybody, anywhere, anytime (1 Cor 9:19-23).
We ought to avoid the trap of evaluating our faith by how others respond to us. The Spirit of God converts people, we don't. If we do, our converts are on shaky ground. The story is told of an evangelist traveling on an airplane who sat across the aisle from a noisy drunk. After watching the fellow carry on for a while, the minister's seat-mate turned and sarcastically remarked, "I understand he is one of your converts!"
The evangelist replied, "Must be. If he were God's, he wouldn't act that way."
The moral of this story and some advice about witnessing.
Let go and let God.
And speak to God about people before you speak to people about God. Our success as disciples of Christ is not dependent on numbers or quality but rather on our faithfulness to God's call.
God Bless! God be with you!
Deacon Francis Valliere