Witnessing To Family Members

August 12, 2012

Friend,
Since most of us would hate to realize that any of our family members would end up in Hell, it is understandable that you are concerned about how you can best encourage yours to turn to the Lord. Yes, those who already have some kind of faith are often the hardest to reach because they usually feel no need to redirect their devotion, and when they are family members, we have to be extra careful because we want to continue in a decent relationship with them. And yes, they know us well, and our past testimony may have discredited our words.

But that was the past. Now we have been aiming for holiness every day. Therefore they are bound to sense a difference in us. –Because if we really are different than we will talk and act differently, even if we are also grieving or in some stress-filled situation. We can talk of our hope in the Lord’s miracles and why we have this hope –which is because God’s Word says He is compassionate and good and does answer those who fervently cry out to Him with repentant hearts.

We can mention a verse that has really meant a lot to us, or we can tell them what God has been teaching us lately. This is likely best done when you are sitting alone with just one family member, because he or she will feel less pressure to “hold to their faith”, and will thus be more honest than if others are listening who they think could belittle the conversation.

Here is something I might say if I were you: “_____, could I talk with you seriously about something that has been weighing heavily on my heart? … I love you very much and I know that in the past I said I was saved and yet you saw me continue to live a sinful lifestyle. I want to apologize for that. I am so sorry that I lived like that. … I have come to realize that I was either not really saved, or I was living as an infant Christian. Now I’ve come to realize that to continue to live at that level is to deny Christ and His power. I am learning a lot about spiritual things.” Pause here and see if this person asks you a question, or better yet, says she is learning the same. If she does the latter, take this as your opportunity to shift the focus from you to her. Ask her, “Like what [are you learning]?” Prompt her, by your gentle, non-assuming questions, to talk. Interject just enough about yourself to keep her from feeling she’s on trial, but keep the focus on her beliefs. Let her talk through her beliefs and why she believes that way.

We can never do a good job of witnessing to anyone if we are not keeping ourselves filled up with the Spirit of God through prayer, praise, meditation on the Word, and obedience to the Word. We must be doing these things and then the Spirit will lead us, not only in what to say, but He will open up the opportunities. If you haven’t had time over the last few days because of being busy with all the family activities, it’s still pertinent that you take some 5-10 minute breaks with the Lord, praying for opportunities, the right words, and that He will soften hard hearts and open blinded eyes. –And to praise Him for all He’s going to do. This will absolutely do wonders and you’ll see God act. For because it is His will that all be saved, we can know we are praying in line with His will.

I pray this advice helps you and that God will do great things through you so that others may be saved –including your family members.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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