Read This: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13)
Think: Sometimes good intentions backfire. No matter what they say, after the age of about six it’s not just the thought that counts. Enthusiasm reads pushy, boldness is seen as aggressive, and Christian metaphors sound weird to people who have no context for them.
We might be well meaning, but at times it’s all too tempting for us to get so caught up in our good works that we forget the very people we are serving. It becomes less about them and their needs and more about us and our to-do list: how many people we’ve led to Christ, how many we’ve invited to church, or how we’ve served our community.
But loving our neighbors is never about us. It’s about asking more than informing, listening more than talking, and accommodating more than insisting. Our good works should stem from our love for God and those created in his image. More often than not, evangelism has to be relational. People want to know our hearts before they’re willing to listen to our message. It’s about them, not our agenda.
Serving and sharing the gospel are important aspects of our lives in Christ. But we should do so with love, humility, and discernment. As Paul writes, “For our reason for our confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that with pure motives and sincerity which are from God– not by human wisdom but by the grace of God – we conducted ourselves in the world, and all the more toward you” (2 Co 1:12).
Ask: Have you ever been a “Sanders”? How can you approach people differently? What should your attitude be as you serve others?
Pray: Ask God to give you the boldness to reach out to others, even knocking on a neighbor’s door as the Sanders did, but with gentleness and humility as well.