In your neighborhood, at work, school and on the soccer field; at the movies, the mall and church, curious eyes are on you. Why you? Because everyone around you craves something more significant than the joyless life they are enduring. You are being watched!
Deceived by the world, they try to conjure up a meaningful existence on their own merit. They try to find it in a book, a seminar, food, shopping, drugs and every new enticement that comes their way. They are looking for love in all the wrong places. Most of them will never read the Bible, for the non-Christian world reads Christians, not the Bible. They are looking for the Source of your joy. Christ is the answer, but you are the messenger.
As one of his followers, the Lord commands you to shine his abundant life from within you wherever you go. He invites you to let people know where you stand and what you believe in. He makes you a big target, a lamp in the darkness of their disbelief, a catalyst for a change of heart.
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Joy is a net of love
Saint Teresa of Calcutta writes, “Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” The joy and love of the Lord draw people to you. So, in evangelizing, first comes the patient witness of who you are in him.
You see, it does no good just to walk up to somebody and start talking about Christ. They must approach you. They have to ask, “Who are you? What is it about you that is so different?” Then they may ask that central question. “Who is Christ?”
You have a unique appeal to certain people the Holy Spirit has prepared to observe you, ask you questions and then listen to your story. They are ready to hear why you are different and how you got that way. They want to know where your joy comes from and how they can bring some of that joy into their lives.
And even though many people will not like your answer and some will do whatever it takes to put you down, it’s still important that you keep the light burning where those who need it can find it.
Count on the Holy Spirit
But, you argue, “Do people really see Jesus in me?” You can trust that if you have given your heart over to the Lord and if you are living the life of Christ to the best of your ability, people will see Jesus in you. Just as the Holy Spirit prepares just the right listeners for your message, so does he prepare your heart and give you just the right words at the right time. You can count on him!
As the Lord continues to draw you deeper into himself, he’s going to provide more and more opportunities for you to give witness and testimony to him, in big ways, little ways, public ways and private ways. Be ready to answer who you are in Christ and why that makes you different. Shine on!
Copyright 2013, revised 2017, Nancy H C Ward
About the Author
Nancy Ward authored Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story: Tools, Tips, and Testimonies (and the DVD) and contributed to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion. She loves to share her conversion story and give evangelization workshops and retreats equipping others to share their faith. She facilitates the DFW Catholic Writers, Catholic Writers Guild Nonfiction Critique Group, serves on their Board, and speaks at writers’ conferences. Learn more at JoyAlive.net and NancyHCWard.com.