Every good salesman knows if he takes a client golfing he, the salesman, must be sure to miss those crucial putts and not win. A pool table came with our house and occasionally we have guests who want to try it out. I make sure to miss those side pocket shots. My guests are important. There is an abundance of archeological evidence that the people of Ephesus were avid game players. Knowing that Paul lived in Ephesus for quite some time leads me to think that someone with such an acute mind was a pretty good game player. And being that Paul had something to promote I doubt if he won very often.
Sometimes we are led to believe “witnessing for the Lord” is passing out pamphlets or confronting people. However, the most effective witnessing is much more subtle. Effective witnessing is valuing others and their feelings. People like to be affirmed and know that we are genuinely interested in them. So often when talking to someone we are waiting for them to take a breath so we can jump in and tell our stories. When we tell our stories we don’t learn anything. We already know the ending. We learn when we listen. If they are telling about their six-inch surgical scar we don’t have to tell them about our twelve-inch scar. Let them shine. When we listen we communicate care and people leave our presence happy. They just might want to know more about our Jesus if we are nice people.
Recently I heard someone bragging about being with a group of people that were eating hamburgers. The braggart proudly stated that he refused. Therefore, he said, he had witnessed. Witnessed what?
Written by Roger Bothwell on July 1, 2014
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574