I woke up at 5:20 am to get ready for work. I work as an online EFL (English as a Foreign Language) instructor. It was a usual day for me. I made some tea and called up my first student at 5:30am. We talked about the weather, some experiences, and thoughts about them to encourage the student to speak in English and for me to pinpoint areas that the student needs to improve on. I had the desired effect so I was pleased about it. The class ended as usual with an exchange of pleasantries.
Time for my next class and as usual, the student makes sentences from the patterns and I would in turn correct errors and suggest better expressions and structures. It was just the usual until we arrived at this statement: “When I have many problems, I…” and he asked me about what I do when I have many problems. My response was actually really long because I was still surprised that for the first time in a long time, he asked for my opinion. This was my response:
“Uhm, well.. First, because I am a Christian, I try to pray and.. ‘try to pray’ because it’s hard to pray when you’re feeling worried. You know, your worry would sometimes nag at you and say “Hah! It’s not gonna be okay” or something like that… but after praying and reading some scriptures I would feel better because it contains promises that says you’re gonna be okay.” (I obviously was caught off guard and I struggled on how I can explain without sounding so preachy.)
And then he said.. “Sometimes I don’t have any religion so sometimes I want to go to the church to pray.” Then I said “but you can pray anywhere”. Then he opened up about that he wants a quiet place to go to and he thinks the church is the best place but he can’t go there because he doesn’t believe in Christ. He said “but maybe in the future I will believe.” I then went on about the fact that churches are places for everyone to go to freely.
We transitioned smoothly to the next topic and then after the class, I remembered seeing an article in the March-April 2014 issue of Set Apart Girl Magazine about sharing the gospel in everyday life. The author had exactly placed what my realizations were. She wrote,
“We are not only to share the Gospel with words, but with actions, attitudes, mind-sets – every aspect of who we are.”
I sometimes wonder about why it’s often easy for me to make friends and why some of my friends would tell that there’s something unusual about how I think, speak and live my life. To tell you frankly, I’m not all that because I do display and have some character issues that I still need to work on from time to time. I don’t view myself as friendly either and I sometimes want to be alone. Then it hit me that it’s really God’s grace that makes others see that I am different, friendly and approachable as they would put it. It’s his radiance that is exuded every time I obey what He says in His Word. I realized that by living a life that is different from the usual, by living a life that is surrendered to Christ, we exude something that makes others curious of the difference that is in us. We can then make use of that to share to others the Gospel. It’s like when you see a pretty flower, you would take the time to appreciate and look at it.
I realized that sharing the Gospel is not just about asking a list of questions that would lead the other person to pray a prayer that would ‘ask Jesus into their heart’ but by living lives that would make them want to have Christ in their lives. As Christians, I believe we have to be really extra careful (understatement) of how we live our everyday lives. As I would often share to my victory group, “Sometimes, we are the only Bible that someone might read” so we ought to aim to live surrendered lives that encourage others to know more about Him.
Good thing we don’t need to do this in our own effort though because if we do, we are just going to end up failing. As Paul had put in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16:
“14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”