A comment from a fellow blogger made me think, what is appropriate boldness for witnessing in our day?
The blogger commented, “This is a truth that is so religiously incorrect in our times. It doesn’t take much boldness to say, “Jesus loves you.” That’s about the extent of my boldness. I know a dear person who well knows the love of God as well as my love, but she lies consistently. How nice it would be to hear a preacher say what Jesus said, “…you belong to the devil, the father of lies.”
To me this is tricky, if we come at them with a Bible bashing hardness they reject what is being said as crazy. If we come at them with sweet, Jesus loves you, then it is ignored because Jesus loves everyone.
For one to be effective in leading another to Jesus, it takes time to listen to see where they are spiritually, and then you can decide the best way to respond, and prayerfully it will change their mind.
Jesus gives us the example of witnessing. Yes, He flat out called the Pharisees children of the devil in John 8:44, but He also lovingly spoke with the woman at the well, not saying, you whore, but saying, if you ask you can have Living Water in John 4:10. Jesus correctly discovered where the people were spiritually and responded appropriately.
The Pharisees were not accurately interpreting the Scripture which they should have known. They are comparable to a religious leader in our day, knowing and teaching others the Bible, but they were not living their life in an appropriate manner. This person needs to hear, you are a child of your father the devil.
The woman at the well needed gentleness, she went from man to man trying to find love, she did not know where true love was found. She needed not to be told she was wrong in her actions, but pointed in the direction of truth.
Father, help us to first take the time to see where a person is spiritually and give us the boldness to speak truth to the person, whether the message is, you are being led by the devil or Jesus loves you. Thank you for the great examples given to us in Your word. In the name of Jesus, amen.