Although witnessing to others is the responsibility of every believer, it’s not always an easy task. Believers should consider that sometimes it’s not what we say, but how we say it. Here are a few tips to help you witness with a loving spirit:
- Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. It’s very important that you ask God to help you witness immediately before you speak. Remember to trust Him and He’ll give you the exact words that you need to make an impact. The Holy Spirit who lives inside of you was left as a guide, so allow Him to lead you!
- Never try to force The Gospel on others. Share what God says but never try to force His Word onto others. God gives people free will so that each person is able to choose whether or not to embrace Him. The believer’s job is to tell the world about The Gospel, but it’s each person’s individual decision to embrace the Truth or reject it. Don’t argue about your beliefs, just share God’s Word in a kind way.
- Use “you” statements selectively. It’s very important that you’re able to discern when you should use “you” statements and when it’s better to use “I” statements. When I witness to others, I apply this general rule: When trying to edify or encourage someone I use “you” statements, but when trying to correct behavior I often use “I” statements.
For instance, if someone is sad or discouraged, I might say, “God loves you” or “It isn’t God’s will for you to be unhappy in life.”
However, if someone is engaged in ungodly behavior, such as dressing too provocatively, I might start the conversation with: “Not too long ago I thought that sexy clothes were great, but God has shown me that I’m too valuable to wear what I used to wear. It was a struggle for me to change my style, but with God’s help I was able to do it.”
This rule of thumb keeps others from taking offense because they usually don’t feel attacked. However, when using this strategy, be mindful of what you say–you don’t want to appear “overly righteous” when using “I” statements. Remember, rely on The Holy Spirit to guide you!
- No judging! It’s okay to correct the behavior of others using God’s Word, but it’s NOT okay to judge others. Yes, share the Gospel, but don’t condemn other people for their behavior. The Bible says this:
Who are you to judge someone else’s servants? Whether they are faithful or not is their own master’s concern. They will be faithful, because the Lord has the power to make them faithful (Romans 14:4).
- Remember that we’re ALL works in progress. Sometimes we get so focused on what others are doing wrong that we forget about the many times that we’ve also missed the mark. Everyone falls short of God’s expectations at one point or another, so we should always walk in a spirit of humility. When we remember that we’re not perfect, it’s easier to refrain from judging others.
God expects all of His children to witness to others about His goodness and mercy, but it’s essential that it’s done with love. Our job isn’t to judge or criticize other people, but to love and edify one another.
Do you have any tips for witnessing to others?