Are you guilty of running and/or hiding from people who chase you down to talk to you about getting your soul saved so you won’t end up in hell? I know I am . It’s always that one person who seems extra annoying because whenever s/he’s around, the conversation seems forceful and judgmental. Even if you are a professed child of God, encounters with a person who is attempting to witness to you leaves you feeling guilty and frustrated.
I remember sitting in the food court on campus, killing time between classes, when a thin, long-haired girl walked up to me, and asked if I knew Jesus. When I replied, “yes”, she asked what church I attended. I answered.
She told me that she was a member of a ministry group, and because I was newly building a real relationship with God, I was engaged. I wanted to talk more. But she suddenly lost interest in the conversation. It seemed that she was only prepared to share information with people who didn’t have a spiritual relationship with God, or who knew very little about church and its functions. Why does witnessing seem to fall short on so many levels? I mean, the people witnessing feel awkward most of the time, and those who are being witnessed to feel awkward and annoyed. Where’s the breakdown?
Where Is The Breakdown?
According to my studies, the breakdown in witnessing comes from the spirit not being right. Sometimes, God uses strangers to reach people who have been seeking him. When that happens, the person is open and receptive to what the other person has to say. And the person who is working for the kingdom knows when to approach and what to say when the time comes. On the other hand, when a person is determined to work on behalf of the kingdom without prompting from God, the person they approach may not be so receptive. S/he may even be harsh toward the person delivering the message, because their spirits aren’t in sync.
The moments are hardly ever right, when a person grabs a stranger on the street, who is headed to or from somewhere. Usually, people are focused on something else, when a self-proclaimed missionary bulldozes into their life, violates their personal space, and forces information on them that they never asked for. Divine timing is important. Timing can mean a beautiful connection, or a disastrous encounter. When God’s spirit is in it, everything aligns just right. Both parties feel good about the interaction, and the best part of all…there is NO JUDGMENT involved.
In this extended episode of “Hold Your Peace”, I am discussing how we should be approaching people, and what it actually means to witness. Listen, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I want to hear from you.