The Fruit of the Spirit and Sharing Your Faith

I'm sitting here in the Seattle airport, and we have a lot of free time on our hands because it's snowing outside!

Seattle is famous for a few things: lots of rain (and lots of moss), Starbucks Coffee shops on every corner, and environmental friendliness.

One thing it is not famous for (unlike our hometown - Minneapolis) is snow. They say it snows here 5 days or less a year.

But let me tell you, when it snows, it really snows.

Michelle and I are doing a marketing job here in the airport. It's fun meeting new people, and it also gives you lots of fun stories.

We have one co-worker who's a great guy, and is fun to work with, but he's not a Christian.

The other day, a nice elderly man stopped by our booth to try and charge his phone. I can't tell you how many people's days we are saving here fixing their phones, giving them directions to their plane, and being the all around info booth with free internet.

This guy happens to be a very outspoken catholic man who looooves EWTN. He doesn't ask our co-worker about his faith or whether or not he's a Christian, but simply goes off on his evangelistic diatribe.

I spryly hid around the corner and watched. Partly to laugh, and partly to learn (what not to do).

The man proceeded to give our coworker a copy of the next few weeks schedule of EWTN, still without asking or knowing where our coworker was at with God at all.

Eventually the old man gruffly asked, "when's the last time you went to church?!" I couldn't believe my ears. He was accusing our coworker before he even asked him about his beliefs!

In his book Response Evangelism, Randy Hurst encourages Christians to ask people questions and to listen before sharing your faith with them.

I've experienced the reason for Hurst's suggestion. One time I began witnessing to a man on the streets of Minneapolis. I gave my testimony, the plan of salvation, the Romans road, and when asking for a response, got the phrase "no hablo ingles" (I don't speak English)!

It's important we ask people about themselves, their faith, why they believe what they believe and listen ... this is the best way to start sharing Christ.

The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and evangelism go hand in hand.

For instance, love is vital to successful evangelism. You have to love God and love people.

Joy is also important. Imagine telling someone how Jesus gave you joy, with a scowl on your face.

Peace is important because we shouldn't be causing arguements on purpose.

Patience is a huge one. We need to be patient while waiting for the right time to share (whether 2 minutes or 2 years).

We should show kindness by asking about their faith first, and being pleasant in our conversation with them. 

Gentleness also could go on the list, and the list goes on and on. 

All these "fruits" happen in us when we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives.

It's not so much worrying about being joyful (which would be a paradox), but allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us when no ones watching, and also when everyone's watching.

Sharing our faith can be as simple as caring about people, and letting the Holy Spirit lead the way.