“Oh, great. Another article to make me feel guilty about witnessing to others.” Maybe that thought crossed your mind as you scanned the title. I would understand completely if it did.
The word “tell” implies verbal action. You “tell” others what to do. You “tell” on your brother. You “tell” a story. Jesus is clear when He tells us, “Go and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20). There is no escaping the fact that we are commanded to verbally tell others about sin and its solution, Jesus Christ.
So, why aren’t we all little chatterboxes for Jesus? How come we don’t take advantage of all the opportunities God has given us to tell people about His Son? Simple really. We’re afraid. We’re afraid of making someone mad. Afraid of saying something wrong. Afraid of losing a relationship. Afraid of being labeled intolerant.
But for those less verbally inclined there is good news. There is another kind of “telling” that doesn’t require a single word. The card players reading this know what I am talking about. Card playing, in all of its forms, is a game of human interaction. And whether we know it or not, we “tell” people what we have, or don’t have, by our actions, our physical demeanor, our breathing patterns, what we are doing with our hands, how we use our eyes. These “tells” and many more are witnessed by people, and strategic judgments are made based on these “tells.”
During Christmastime, you have a huge opportunity to let people see your Christian “tells.” Are you visibly burdened and stressed by all the things you have to do, or are you cheerful and lighthearted during this busy time of year? Do you look like you just smelled a rotten fruitcake, or are you ready with a smile for all who see you? Are your eyes focused on the things of the world, or are they confidently looking to the Babe in Bethlehem and into the eyes of the lost who are all around you?
Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
One way that you tell people you are a Christian is by how you conduct yourself. Your actions will attract or repel people. They are watching. They will be able to see what kind of person you are by your “tells.” We want our “tells” to be a light that attracts the sad, lonely, and lost.
Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ (Romans 10:17).
Now comes the reason for it all. The chance to tell others why you are the way you are. And the simple, sweet answer is, “Because Jesus loves me.” Though I have given in to my fears, Jesus forgives me. Because the greatest gift I’m getting this year is not under a Christmas tree, it is in a manger—God made flesh to be my substitute in His living, dying, and rising for my salvation. Because heaven is my home!
One last bit of good news for the less verbally inclined. There is no need for some fancy, elaborate response. You don’t have to quote Luther or the Church Fathers. Simply speak the truth. “Jesus loves you.” Telling people that simple, beautiful truth will lead to more questions, which will lead you to the Bible, which will lead you to more answers and more confidence. And you being drawn back to the source of God’s love—Jesus—will make you want not only to tell people about Christ through your actions but also with words as well.
‘Tis the season to “tell” others about the Good News of Christ’s birth and God’s love!
Reverend Greg Schmidt
Our Savior Lutheran Church