“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come” (Henri Nouwen).
Lately, the main topic at my church has been gospel conversations, which are how you can gently broach the subject of Jesus and salvation in such a way that doesn’t come across as preachy or condemning.
That’s been on my mind a lot lately.
I confess I’m not very good at these gospel conversations. Most of the time, I chicken out. I either don’t say anything or I make small talk.
I think most of us feel inadequate when it comes to initiating spiritual conversations.
Maybe the way to get started is with random acts of kindness. Perhaps it will be peace or a smile. Maybe it will be forgiving when you have every right to hold a grudge.
Kindness can open a door for gospel conversations and give you the right to be heard but it can’t ever replace the actual conversations. The Apostle Paul says that salvation comes through hearing and not just seeing. The words matter.
But the good news is that God has promised to give you the right words in the right moment when you need them most. He will guide your conversation if you enter into it prayerfully, humbly, and sincerely. He will also prompt you when the time is right.
May all believers have the courage to not only act with kindness but also to speak words of lovingkindness that those around us desperately need to hear.