It’s not enough to just be right if we want God to use us to reach people with the Gospel. Our rightness only serves ourselves if we alienate people by our attitude and choice of words. Failure to show interest in people as individuals comes across as an attempt to propagate one of a myriad of doctrines and treating people as another notch on our belt.
We live in a world where many are talking, but few listening, all while broken hearts cry out, “Does anyone hear me?”
I’m no trained apologist or theologian, just small fry in a sea full of big fish—but I couldn’t resist participating in this writing competion on apologetics with the topic of: Why is it so important to answer not only the question, but also the questioner?
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
My goal is to glorify God, encourage believers, and reach the lost; to connect culture’s questions with Christianity’s answers.
Do you just want to be right, or do you want to be effective? — Pastor Artie Aragone
I believe to be effective, we must strive to humbly present the uncompromised truth with grace and love, and it starts with listening and a heart to know and serve those we minister to. How else can we reach people if we don’t take the time to find out where they are?
Without compassion for the person, it looks like intellectual coercion. Answering the questioner moves the implication away from “Only a fool would deny this,” to something that addresses the heart of the hearer, their spiritual need. — Pastor Chip Ganiear
God wants more than our intellectual nod to the veracity of scripture. He wants our heart, our whole selves.
Scripture admonishes us to study and be ready to give an answer for our faith. But we must also tune our hearts to the Holy Spirit’s leading, to hear people’s heart-cry, as their needs often encompass more or differ from the words they speak. Humans incline toward hiding their sin and struggles 2; Jesus compassionately calls us as we are so He can form us into who He created us to be. Jesus often answered questions with questions, or went directly to the root of the issue when people tried to deflect attention from themselves and their actual need. Examples are the woman at the well 2, the rich young ruler, and the Pharisee’s question about paying taxes. Questioning the questioner can guide people to see their need and truth for themselves, how it connects to their situation.
I’ve been privileged to interview several pastors and pastor’s wives. “Can you please clarify that?” may be the inscription on my tombstone. I’ve received some of the most open-hearted responses as I waited silently after people were seemingly finished sharing. Whether witnessing or interviewing, I’ve found people more open to my questions and answers when I’m respectful, compassionate, and sensitive to their needs, rather than when I just spout my beliefs.
Holy humbled Himself and walked among humanity. Jesus met people where they were. He often asked them what they wanted, not because He didn’t know, but He modeled how to open communication, provide a platform for people to recognise and state their needs, and then respond to them. Jesus listened, built relationships, and so ministered to people.
Jesus didn’t come to prove He was right, although He is. He came to seek, serve, and save the lost, to win us to Himself because He loves us and desires a relationship with us.
As disciples of Jesus, we ought to mirror His spirit as we share the hope of the Gospel with the lonely, lost world. But remember:
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…” John 6:44 (NKJV)
“So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” I Corinthians 3:7 (NKJV)
*And a few other special announcements! 🙂
On Tuesday December 3rd, at 9 p.m. Eastern I was once had the privilege of being the live victim, oh, I mean interviewee, on #PJNET Live with Coach Mark Prasek. Visit PJNET.tv then click “Live Video and Chat,” to watch their live programs Monday – Friday 9 p.m..
Bonus! Award winning author, speaker, teacher, Del Duduit follows at 9:30 p.m. ET. on #PJNET Live! Del is bold, thought provoking, inspiring and entertaining, whether the topic is sports, politics, culture,
or the Christian faith. Check out two of his new book releases, First Down Devotions and Impossible Faith. His books make great Christmas gifts, as do the other books in my sidebar and on my resources page.
(I’m working on the drop down menu and adding more resources.)
And Two More Writing Awards!
You know how the Bible says all things work to the good of those who love God? In this case sidelined roadside in a broken car led to a 3rd place Ohio Christian Writers Conference (OHCWC) Blue Seal Award for the resulting devotional. —Thank you Serious Writer and OHCWC!
—You may read GPS – God’s Positioning System here.
Jerry B. Jenkins —Watching three years of your Manuscript Repair and Rewrite classes in the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild helped me get the word count down from over 2,400 to the required under 1,500 for this contest. It was so hard as I also needed to preserve the tone of the piece. I didn’t think I could do it, but recognized it as a good writing exercise and determined to keep going until I could go no further. Twelve minutes before the deadline I submitted my article at 1,498 words. Thank you, Jerry!
Humbled and grateful for the call to write for God.
—I will post the updated version of Welcome to My Dysfunction that I submitted to the contest at a later date. 🙂
Hoping to have a new and unusual blog post up for you soon.
Thank you for joining me on the journey. God bless you.
© 2019 Rachael M Colby Tattoo It On Your Heart