I was standing in the checkout line at one of our local stores and noticed the lady ahead of me was wearing a brightly colored T-shirt with a Bible verse on it. Then when she thanked the cashier, she said, “Dear, I hope you know Jesus loves you!”
I can’t help admiring people who can share Jesus’ love like that, so candidly. But there’s another part of me that wonders if that method is the most effective way for me. One of my biggest challenges in following Jesus is learning how and when to share Him with others.
I want to be “the light of the world,”1 but I don’t want it to feel awkward, or be something that I do out of guilt or some other negative feeling. I need practical, actionable answers. I need concepts that can turn into habits that can turn into results. I’m sharing a few points below that are helping me grow in the area of sharing my faith.
Love your people. Jesus said, “If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.”2 That means that the thing that calls us out as Jesus’ followers is not only how we treat strangers, but specifically how we treat other Christians. I daresay Jesus knew that anyone can put up a good front and be kind to a stranger for a moment, but what really shows your heart is how you treat those within your own house, church, or faith.
Don’t be a hypocrite. If you’re often grouchy, moody, gossipy, or mean, it’s kind of hard to slip in a “Jesus loves you” to the cashier and have any hope of anyone believing you. Most of our relationships are with the people we see regularly at work, school, in our neighborhoods—and consistently showing up cheerful, caring, and ready to serve can make an impact.
Be natural. The other day, I was talking with one of my workmates, a young guy who has a very secular worldview. In the course of the conversation, I mentioned that I usually volunteer at my church on Sundays. I could tell he was surprised. “You don’t look or talk like a church person,” he said. Not every witness needs to be intense, and this type of casual conversation can plant seeds of interest.
These are pretty basic pointers, but sharing Jesus—in one way or another—should be a pretty basic, regular part of our everyday lives.
1. Matthew 5:14
2. John 13:35 CEV