For some of us it feels awkward to discuss our faith outside of the small circle of people we know are on the “same page”. Whether at work or in other social settings, we know we are meant to be “salt and light” in the world- but how can we do that without sounding preachy, or without alienating people who are “anti-religious”, of which there seem to be more and more. We are meant to be beacons that help our fellow humans on the path to redemption and to heaven- but sometimes it is easier to “hide our light under a bushel”. Here are a few suggestions on how to witness in some pretty easy ways:
- “What did you do this weekend?”- that is a pretty stock question that you get when you speak with colleagues or friends. Before answering with whatever you binge watched on Netflix, or with the whatever else you may have done, frame the answer with “After Church, my family and I did…”. Just dropping it out there that you go to church can be the opening that a curious seeker may need to engage you in a discussion about faith.
- “How can I help?” – when someone comes to you with a problem, it is, of course important to have a listening and empathetic ear. Once into the discussion about their issue, asking them “can I pray for you?” is a wonderful way to introduce the presence of God into the equation. I have never had anyone say “no” in response to this. For the advanced version of this, you can actually pray for them right there on the spot, but I am not quite there yet.
- Sometimes what you wear (Miraculous Medal? Cross?) can be a witness, likewise what you are reading. I once had the book “Too Busy Not to Pray” in my office at work, and it created a wonderful and spontaneous discussion with a young Christian woman who had felt lonely and isolated because she believed she was the only person at work who was a believer. I didn’t have the book lying around to be a conversation starter, but after that encounter I was much more conscious of doing just that.
- Surprise people with your reactions. If you are at peace and filled with joy, it is contagious and people will want to know how to get some of what you have. We know we are called to return hate with love – but even not getting frustrated or frazzled at work is a positive witness. Seeing Jesus in everyone we encounter is our opportunity, and finding ways to demonstrate this love is a great way to share the love of Christ.
- Focus on listening – when someone comes to tell you their problems, or to vent about something- or even to share good news, give them your undivided attention. Show people by your focus how much they matter to you. It is so easy to get distracted with what is happening on our screens, or to be racing from one activity or meeting to another. Really pausing and listening is a gift that you can give someone- and it is a reflection of the love of Christ.
Those are some of my ideas, but I would love to hear yours. Comment if you have ways that you have found to share the love of Jesus with the world around you!