Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Discernment & Street Reality by Trisha Ramos

No doubt you have been to the zoo, or some place like it, and seen a pack of wolves. In that setting they look and act much like our sweet and friendly pet dogs at home. So, it can be somewhat hard to believe that if we were to step over the protective barrier separating us from them, that they would want to kill us. Their desire to kill us would not be obvious at first because they would not immediately lunge at us; instead they would carefully eye us, then slowly get up and begin circling us. In an instant, they would go from reminding us of our beloved pet, to reminding us of the reason for the protective barrier.

Street witnessing can be much the same in that people at a distance appear to be as friendly and harmless as we are, and it’s not until we start talking to them that we are able to discern if we should continue our witnessing efforts, or if they are preparing to circle us like a pack of wolves. But why would that be? We have good news! Scripture tells us that “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing”, and Jesus warns us in Matthew 10:16 of the hostility we will face when sharing it when he says, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” These two scriptures alone tell us not to be naïve into thinking that everyone with a smile on their face is embracing what we are saying. And, we women in particular must make it a point to be more aware of this then men simply because we are more vulnerable. Here are a few things for us ladies to keep in mind when we are witnessing on the streets:

First and foremost, never go out on the streets alone to witness. Follow the example Jesus set in Mark 6:7 when he sent the disciples out two by two; always have at least one other person with you.

Second, resolve in your heart to dress modestly. This is key! Never dress in a way that would call more attention to yourself than to God. Modest women must live for the glory of another. They must live for the glory of God. This means that the Christian women’s chief aim in life is to call attention to the beauty of God and not themselves. Make sure that you are seeking Christ’s approval - when you dress - and not man’s approval, which will always disappoint. Before you leave the house to go out and share the gospel, make sure you look in the mirror and ask yourself, "Would Christ be pleased with what I am wearing?" You never want to tempt your fellow co-labors in the gospel or unbelievers that you are witnessing to. Make sure you are dressed in a manner that represents the Lord well. If you are still not sure if your outfit is modest, ask a modest sister from church for her opinion. Or if you are married, ask your spouse (this presupposes that your husband has a high standard on modesty as we are called to have by the Word of God).

Third, always heed the warnings of the Holy Spirit. He is like our protective barrier, and if we “step over” him we can find ourselves in serious trouble. He guides us in the way we should go, so if something doesn’t feel right, it’s time to end the conversation, hand the person a gospel tract, and move on. Here’s an example of what to say: “What is your name again? Steve, I appreciate you talking with me (hand him a tract), be sure and read the back when you get a chance.”

Finally, consider your surroundings before approaching a group, especially a group of guys. Different atmospheres create different attitudes. For example, a college campus during the day is safer than the city downtown at night.

If you are new to witnessing, it can be difficult at first to discern if someone is genuine or not in his or her conversation with you. If possible, have an experienced person with you for a while until you are comfortable witnessing one-to-one.

Go! Share the Gospel
One Person at a Time

For more from Trisha Ramos, visit her website, www.fishwithtrish.com .  She has some wonderful advice on how women can be effective in evangelism, along with encouraging witnessing stories and videos.

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