I am still fairly new to the company I work for at the time of writing this. In the first few months though I have had some people come up and say basically there is something different about me, in a positive way, and others who are believers say they can tell I am one without even bringing it up. In talking to one of these people because they were going through some hardships relationally in their walk with God, they had told me they were brought up in and continue to go to a denominational church who emphasizes on the need to go and witness to people and bring people back into their church body. Because of this teaching and that they had not been acting in such a fashion they had started to doubt their value and condemnation had started creeping in.
I told this person that their value is independent of anything they do and they need to see that regardless of what they do they are priceless in the eyes of God. Just as a good parent loves their own child regardless of what they do. We as parents may blur the lines by teaching our kids inadvertently that we love them more when they do good and love them less when they do bad, but this is no way reflects the unconditional love God has for us.
It is interesting to note that unless you want to twist the context of scriptures we are not as believers to go witnessing as though it was a job title, but we are to be a witness. When I think of how various denominations go about witnessing I get this cold feeling where there is a lack of intimacy and feel like I am speaking to a salesman who is just doing what they do because that is what they do as a job. The reality is everyone is a witness to what they believe every moment of their lives. To those who love this world they bear witness that the love of God is not in them but the desires of this world are. And there are those who walk in the love of God and bear witness to His love. Just as in those who come to me noticing something different are seeing the witness I bear to them of the love of God for them and my faith in God.
I do not go around preaching to everyone or trying to pressure anyone about anything. If my life does not bear witness to the quality of life that God desires for us to have, then why would people believe what I had to say? Sure there will always be someone who would believe the truth upon hearing it, but then they are just a likely to change their minds once again when they hear something else that they want to hear.
There are very few people who I can think of historically that I would like to associate with for any length of time because of how I see the personification of God in their lives. To me witnessing or bearing witness about God can truly only come from one who has an intimate relationship with Him. Even Paul said that he did not minister by facts and intellectualism but out of his relationship with Jesus. (1Corinthians 2:1-5).
It is easy to change ones beliefs when they are based on man’s wisdom. It may all seem perfectly logical until some new piece of information is discovered and then we have to rewrite our beliefs once again. But when you actually experience something that writes a belief on your heart then that is a lot harder to change. As a believer in God and the finished works of Jesus I have seen and experienced many things that would make it impossible for me to deny my faith. As they say you cannot kill a dead man and I have died to Christ. The things physically I have experienced as well as the state of being free from guilt, shame, condemnation, judgment etc. unto righteousness, peace, joy, contentment, love and others all out of this union with God is undeniable. Yes there are things that I am still growing in and God is ministering to me about that help me to experience life to the fullest more and more every day, but the overall transformation that I can see in myself has been tremendous.
My advice to anyone who has been told they need to go witness to others is to just say no. Instead be a witness by sharing the love of God with those around you. Give to those in need if you can, comfort those who need comforting and rejoice with those who rejoice. I am reminded of Paul who said that he became a servant to all men in hopes that he may save some. A servant and not a slave, which most go about as slaves doing and feel under a burden. If you are doing something that is truly a burden unto you then God is not it and you are acting out of your own desire. Quite possibly to please someone other than God who is judging you based on what you do, yet in many cases are guilty of the same thing. But a servant in Paul’s context is one who is motivated by love and compassion. Desiring that everyone be at peace with themselves in a relationship with God our Father, our Lord and Comforter.
In saying all this I do not want anyone to feel like they are to never say anything. There is nothing wrong with speaking the love of God if you feel led to do so. Just saying something like “God loves you” can make all the difference in the world to a person who needs to hear it, especially when spoken by someone who is walking in conviction of God’s love. I am just not a fan of and would never encourage cold calling just to satisfy some quota or put a notch in my bible.
Hopefully I am have left the clear impression that I believe in the old adage that our actions speak louder than our words. I can tell someone I love them until I am blue in the face, but if I never show that love it is pointless and will have no real impact. Jesus did not tell everyone that our Father loves us but he demonstrated love. He revealed to us that God is merciful and full of grace and that His love knows no bounds.