421 Words - Reading Time (1min 41secs) - Speaking Time (3min 14secs)
The world today is always trying to sell us something. Commerce is a way of life for most. Buying and selling take up a disproportionate amount of our human experience. It has gotten to the point that individuals feel like they are being sold in everyday human discourse even when they are not. Communication today often feels like manipulation. One person is trying to convince another person about their ideas.
The same thing applies to issues of faith. In evangelism, this modern backdrop of buying and selling is in place. Conversations of an evangelism nature can feel like you're selling something. The recipients think they are being manipulated and coerced. Before you can effectively communicate such intimate knowledge, consider the answer to these three questions in the individual's mind.
If you have ever spoken with someone about your faith and they make a complaint about you selling something, then it is time to consider another more powerful command. Our Lord gave us a command as one of the two most outstanding commands. That is the command to "Love your neighbor." Look at what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 22:36-40.
Matthew 22:36–40 (ESV)
36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
As a people trying to lead others to Christ, we must do a better job at the second most excellent command. Doing this will allow others to answer the previous three questions mentioned above in a positive light. When we love our neighbor, then leading can happen in good soil. Love removes ulterior motives where people think we only want to convert them to our religion. Instead, people will think we are doing what is best for them and not for ourselves.
Here are three questions to ask yourself in regards to loving your visitors.
Barry G. Johnson, Sr.
An Evangelist at the Church of Christ which meets in Brookfield, IL.