Sometimes it can seem those closest to us can be the hardest to share Jesus with.
They know us, they see our strengths, and also our weaknesses. That can feel like being on the ‘back foot’ sometimes, but it can also give us an amazing vantage point that no-one else has. Use that vantage!
Our family and friends can be our worst critics but also our best supporters.
Here are some practical tips for sharing Jesus with your friends and family;
- Do you live what you speak?
This is a great question to ask God; “Am I living out the things that I speak?” If God highlights any areas where you are not living right, then say sorry, ask for forgiveness and put it right. Talk to your friends and family about that also. Remember it’s not only saying sorry to God and asking for forgiveness but, say sorry and ask for forgiveness to the people around you too. Be specific, don’t make excuses, and be authentic. It will speak volumes.
- Take time to understand how your family and friends are feeling
Everyone wants to be heard and understood. It can be very easy to jump to conclusions. Perhaps those close to you are misunderstanding your motives also. The best way to bring or gain understanding is to ask questions. Questions can help people to articulate what is going on for them. Keep your questions open, and without agenda so that you are careful not to be putting your own slant on the outcome. You may be very surprised at the responses that you get.
- Take care not to tell people what do to, even if they ask for advice
If you are someone that is quick to give advice and solutions, use self-control and do everything you can to stop yourself, that in itself will catch your friends and family off-guard. Your response instead could be something like; “I really appreciate that you shared that with me — how are you feeling?” or, “That’s really interesting” and ask them something about what they have shared that acknowledges that you have listened to what they were saying.
- Ask God for help
Talk to God. Your prayers are effective and powerful. Don’t give up praying and asking God for breakthrough and strategy. Follow a child-like faith and keep it simple. God wants to talk to you about your family and friends. He knows best and He will direct you with this. God’s heart is that your family and friends will come to know Him, pray with God’s heart, and ask Him what His agenda and timing is, not yours 😉.
I walked away from God for eight years; many times my family was the last place I turned to for advice or help. I didn’t want to give up my lifestyle, I wasn’t ready. I was stubborn but I also felt very misunderstood. God got me in the end, and my family never gave up on me. I am so grateful for that.
When I was ready to give up that lifestyle, the people I turned to were those Christians that; lived what they spoke, took time to understand me, helped me to come to the right conclusions without telling me what to do and they prayed for me.
The way you live your life speaks volumes. Don’t forget to open your mouth!