Christmas is such a busy time of the year. Most of us will attend numerous company parties, neighborhood socials and family get-togethers. Christmas is such a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the love and fellowship of our family and friends.
Let me challenge you, though, to see Christmas as a different kind of opportunity. As a committed Christian, this may be your best chance to tell your loved ones about Jesus. After all, there is no better time to talk about the Christ child than during the holiday season that bears His name.
Admittedly, though, most of us struggle with the “when” and the “how” of sharing our faith. Do we just blurt out the Gospel at the dinner table? Should we sit the family down and make them listen as we read the Christmas story? How do we talk about Jesus without getting into religious arguments?
- Pray first!
My mom used to say, “Brian, your mouth is in motion before your brain is in gear.” The idea being that I spoke before I thought. Sadly, I must plead “Guilty as charged!”
Many believers do the same thing in their witnessing. They speak before they pray. Instead of asking God to open the door of conversation, they push the door open. They force the issue. Thus, often the timing is not right and the person’s heart is not ready to hear the truth of the Gospel.
How much wiser is it to saturate the opportunity in prayer? Paul realized this when he asked the Colossians to pray that God would give him, “many opportunities to speak about His mysterious plan concerning Christ.” (Colossians 4:3) Pray first!
- Don’t Miss an opportunity!
No, I am not contradicting what I just said. Don’t speak before you pray, but most certainly look for a chance to speak after you pray! Remember that God answers prayer. If you ask for an open door, then you better be on the lookout because an opportunity is coming.
Simply stated, if you are praying and seeking a chance to share you faith, God will give you the occasion to do it. It might be as simple as someone asking you what you like about Christmas. Or, a chance could present itself in a conversation about your favorite Christmas songs. Just maybe a friend will share some of the circumstances that discourage her during the Christmas season. All of those are open doors. Look for them and be ready to share your faith.
- Know what you are going to say
This might seem like a no-brainer, but often we are unprepared when opportunity strikes. Believe me, if you don’t think through what you are going to say, your words may offend, be misunderstood or even cause an argument.
In I Peter 3:15 we are exhorted to always be ready to explain the reason for our hope in Christ. Take a few minutes and practice articulating the Gospel. Write down a few verses that you will use and think through any potential land mines. Thinking ahead will help you be prepared when God opens the door.
This year, those of us who know the story of Christmas, who believe the story of Christmas, and whose lives have been changed by the story of Christmas should look for opportunities to share our faith. My prayer is that God will use you and me to point someone to Jesus during this holiday season. Be assured that I am praying that God uses you as a “voice” for Jesus!