When Jesus sought out His disciples, He told the men who had previously been working as fishermen that He would make them fishers of men, meaning that He would teach them how to gather men into His fold. We have also been asked to be fishers of men in our own time and in our own lands. As we tell others about the gospel, we act as fishers of men, inviting them to step into Christ’s net and be gathered up with those He calls His.
But as we seek to share the gospel with others, what nets are we using as we reach out? Are we pushy in our approach? Are we too shy to speak up when someone has a question? Do we criticize the person we would seek to teach, telling them that their lives are messed up but we know the right way?
Being a true follower of Jesus Christ means that we would treat others with the same love and courtesy He would show in our position. As we talk to others about the gospel, we might keep the following things in mind:
1. We can’t judge anyone. We don’t know where they’ve been, what internal battles they’re fighting, what they’re up against every day. We don’t understand why they do the things they do, and furthermore, we don’t have an accurate idea of just what it is they do.
2. They might not be looking for the entire set of discussions. Perhaps they only want the answer to one question. If they ask you one question, answer it for them, and then ask them if they’d like to know anything else. If they don’t, let it drop. If they do, go ahead and answer it. If they are curious, they will ask more when the time is right for them. We can’t be pushy. No one wants to be force fed.
3. Always answer their questions in a spirit of love. While it is true that there are persons who are highly opposed to the church and ask questions in an attempt to start a fight, most questions are asked because they really want to know. We should never be on the defensive when someone asks us about the church. It was set up on principles of love and acceptance, and we should never represent it with defensiveness or with our hackles raised.
Each of us will, in our lives, have the chance to introduce someone to the gospel. We may not ever answer their questions or arrange for them to meet with the missionaries, but we will be an example to them through our actions and the way we conduct ourselves. The way we treat others may well be someone’s introduction to the church. As we go through our days and interact with others, let’s always be aware of the words we say and the impressions we give, that they might always be Christ-like.