Sharing the faith and the gospel with those closest to you can be a formidable challenge. It is a misnomer that witnessing to strangers is more difficult. Also, the idea that you have to have an established relationship (i.e. relationship evangelism) before you can share the gospel is equally misleading. The truth is, as Christians, realizing our potential and living a transformed life includes sharing the gospel with everyone. This is especially true for our closest family members and friends.
The Intimidation Factor
Reality dictates that our family and closest friends know us best. This means they know all of our faults and failures and have witnessed many of them first-hand. This tends to keep us from sharing Christ with them out of a fear of being labeled a hypocrite. Also true is that those closest to us are more comfortable giving us a sharp response or angry reaction to our challenging their lifestyles to follow Jesus. The fact that we have an ongoing relationship with these folks also creates a challenge. Since we know we will have contact later – at family gatherings, holidays, and other occasions – if the conversation goes bad, it could make the relationship very uncomfortable. The real question we have to ask ourselves is, do I value this relationship more than I value their eternal soul?
These and other reasons can intimidate and keep us from sharing Christ and the gospel with those we love the most. This need not be the case, however. There are ways to effectively engage our friends and family to share Jesus and His saving grace. Unsaved family and friends need to hear the gospel. We would all agree on that. But our seeming indifference or inability to overcome our fears stands in opposition to this confession. If we truly love them, we MUST find a way to share the gospel.
It is my prayer that this episode will assist you in finding ways and trusting in the Holy Spirit to give you the words you need when the opportunities present themselves.