Sharing Your Faith
By Charles Stanley, Crosswalk
Often, when we think of witnessing, the first thing that may come to mind is a foreign missionary or an outspoken evangelist-people who participate in frequent one-on-one communication about Christ. But there is much more to sharing your faith, and being a witness for Christ, than simply telling others about Jesus.
Being a witness for Christ comes down to three things: character, conduct, and conversation. Any one without the others will cause conflict in our own lives and seem hypocritical to others.
For instance, have you ever known someone who knew all the right words, who said all the perfect “Christianized” terms, yet what they communicated was completely inconsistent with their day-to-day life? Words without action will only get you so far. (James 2) Insincerity can be spotted from a mile away.
Now, other people have a strong moral character-often matched by their conduct-yet they never speak about issues of faith, even when the opportunity hits them square in the face. Psalm 107:2 proclaims, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” Our faith in Jesus is not something we tuck in our pocket until church on Sunday. It should be evident in all areas of our lives throughout the week.
One often overlooked aspect of witnessing is the method in which we talk about our faith. Most non-believers may not respond well to a sermon preached with a megaphone in the middle of a public square; however, the same message communicated in a casual, one-on-one setting may be much more effective. Our attitude and communication style is often the first thing a non-believer will see, making it very important that we approach in a gentle, humble, and non-threatening spirit.
Acts 8 contains a great example of how to present the gospel. Noticing that an Ethiopian was reading a difficult passage in Isaiah, Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” (Acts 8:35). Once the Ethiopian told Philip he needed assistance, Philip sat beside the man and talked with him.
Notice that Philip didn’t sit beside the man without an invitation. He waited until asked. He also didn’t begin his explanation from Genesis 1; instead, he started where the man was and answered his specific questions about Christ. Any testimony we give should be about Jesus, not us. Only through the grace of God are we saved, and any good we accomplish is because of Him.
What is important about this passage is that Philip’s presentation of the gospel would have carried little weight had his life-character and conduct-not been a reflection of his conversation. When someone else can visibly see what Jesus is doing in our lives, it can, oftentimes, be much more effective than a five minute conversation or anonymous tract.
Our words are extremely important, but remember that how we live is the ultimate reflection of Christ. Begin today examining your life-are your character, conduct, and conversation consistent? Through God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, you can be a living testimony to Christ-in your conversation, conduct, and character.