This week’s devotions are based on Week 5 of “I Love My Church…Love by Sharing!” (WATCH HERE)
We share because we care.
You can tell the difference.
You’ve talked with a salesperson who you can tell is simply interested in getting a sale, not what’s best for you. He (or she) goes on about the importance of the product, how it works, and what great value it has and then asks for the sale.
The difference is stark when a sales person comes to you because a) you’ve invited them because of a need you have, b) they seek to understand the problem or issue you are having before suggesting a product or solution and c) are willing to suggest their product may not be exactly what you need or are looking for.
One cares about themselves. One cares about you.
Both share the product, how it works and the value it has, but one shares to make a sale and the other shares because they care about you and helping you.
The same could be said of sharing our faith.
We can engage in a conversation about Christianity and share the importance of believing in Jesus, the details about Jesus’ work for us and the great value faith has and turn a person off.
This is frustrating and discouraging. We wonder, “How could anyone say ‘no’ to Jesus?”
They probably aren’t saying, “no” to Jesus, they are saying “No” to your approach.
You shared before you cared.
I heard it first from leadership teacher John Maxwell, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This is very true of sharing our faith as well. Before your share, take time to care. Here’s an example from Jesus’ ministry:
Matthew 9:35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Jesus cared for the people around him. He felt for them in his gut. He healed many and shared with many. He cared for them and they knew that what he said and what he did was because he cared. Jesus had no underlying motive other than for people to understand and experience his love. He knew people wouldn’t care about what he had to share until he shared how much he cared.
We are an answer to Jesus’ prayer for more workers in the harvest field. He has given us his love and grace and we are well equipped to share it with others.
But first take time to care. Ask questions. Get to know the person. Understand what the hurt is. Then share.
I remember a conversation with a gal about original sin. She didn’t understand why sin and its consequences were mentioned in my sermons, devotions and teaching. As we conversed I could have explained all the passages about original sin and why she should understand it was an accurate teaching of the Bible. However, I asked this question, “It seems like the topic of original sin is a big issue for you. I’m curious why, amidst all the other teachings of the BIble and Christianity, that one stands out to you?”
Tears started to flow. She had struggled for years growing up to be a perfectionist to gain her fathers’ approval. Straight A’s in school wasn’t enough. Athletic performance wasn’t enough. She felt like she could never achieve her fathers’ love apart from being perfect. She struggled to understand that her Heavenly Father would see her as imperfect. Once she shared, I could share the Gospel more precisely to let her know she didn’t have to carry the load of perfection, but Jesus did for her. Her Father loved her dearly, even though she wasn’t perfect.
While the load didn’t fully lift, the question enabled a more caring sharing because it addressed the real hurt, the real concern because in that conversation I was able to show how much I cared.
Apply: How can you show care and concern for someone today? Ask the Lord to use an opportunity to care to open an opportunity to share.
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for caring for each of us in a personal, real way. Help me to always show how much I care before I share you with them. AMEN.