“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:12-13
“The most important word in the English language is ‘relationships.’” That’s what my evangelism professor, Dr. Oscar Thompson, said the first day of class while I was at seminary. I would have to agree.
“Fishers of men” have committed themselves to a relational task – “connecting people to Jesus.” A “fisher of men” has been selected by God (“chosen ones”) to carry out His redemptive mission. In fact, the Scripture even goes so far as to say that you and I were made and set aside by God for the task. That is what is meant by the word “holy.”
The secret to your success as a “fisher of men” has everything to do with the nature of your relationship with God and with others. People will open up to you about their spiritual condition when they know you can be trusted. In fact, it’s rare that people actually listen to what you have to say until you’ve earned the right to be heard. A relationship must be built first.
“Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, and forgiveness” are all words that describe healthy relationships. Can you honestly say that these are the characteristics you display when sharing your faith? It’s your call. The Scripture tells us to put on these characteristics. People will respond positively to you when you do.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to see evangelism as the natural result of a relationship rather than a compulsory spiritual task to be checked off. When you love someone, you’ll talk to him about Jesus. Just do it.