May 26, 2009

Without Words

1 Peter 3:1-6

If any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words …
1 Peter 3:1


If we move beyond the issue of submission in this text that has often led to church debates, we discover an important principle for evangelism that is true for all of us as God’s witnesses.

Remember that Peter says we should always be prepared to give the reason for the hope we have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15). That, of course, involves speaking. But that doesn’t mean a believer should talk about the Lord in a way that sounds like nagging to a spouse or other family member who is not a believer.

God doesn’t want us to irritate people to a point where they will explode out of anger or never want to hear about the Lord again. Sadly, this has happened in many marriages, families, and friendships.

To most people, our talk will mean little or nothing if we don’t back it up with actions. We need to show by our deeds that we believe what we say about God and how he wants us to live. That includes showing mercy and patience with anyone who is not a believer or has not yet made a faith commitment to Christ.

Often a friend or loved one who is not won to the kingdom through our words can be won by the unfading qualities of a kind, caring spirit. Serving the people we love with genuine humility and thoughtfulness can help them want a relationship with Christ.

Lord, we pray for the people we love, especially those who do not yet know you. Work in their hearts, Holy Spirit, and help us show your love in all we say and do. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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