Guest Author - Dountonia S. Slack
The Holidays are a special time of year when family unites to share old memories, fuss over the insignificant, show love for another, and feast on good food. It is a time to be thankful for the blessing of family no matter how untraditional or ungracious they can be to one another. But, how does one minister the love and hope of Christ to unsaved, sick, ostracized or isolated family members during these festive moments? Not to mention, most of us desire for every member of our family to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Thus, it becomes necessary that we seize every opportunity to share the Gospel to those we love in a way that is authentic and practiced in our own lives.
Often we find it difficult to evangelize those we know too much about and have ultimately declared that “They will never change.” Yet, if we really believe that all things are possible with God, then it is possible for that difficult, rebellious family member to have a heart change and move towards Christ. It is not our call to just give up on him or her. We must do our part and continuously make the introduction to Christ to all. But, here’s the key – we cannot force feed the Gospel the same way we force feed Auntie’s dry turkey. Instead of talking about how good God is, why not show how good God is by living out the faith in a genuine joyful manner?
Convincing others that Jesus is the reason for the season becomes difficult when we walk around depressed and defeated. We fire back profanities, unloving words, and insults at family because “it’s the truth” then expect them to understand the meaning of speaking the truth in love. Overextending our bank accounts and depleting resources for the sake of giving what others do not really need is a contradiction to say the least. As a result, we end up confusing the lost by the way we live.
Therefore, the best way to minister to our loved ones who do not know Christ is to become more like Him that we wish for them to know. “For [we] have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example for [us] to follow in His steps” (I Peter 2:21). Let us give the gift of Christ this season by allowing Him to be the light that shines in our homes even when frustrations are high, spirits are low, and the aroma of sin overshadows the spices. Give hope, love, peace, mercy, and understanding with joy as we enjoy the blessing of being surrounded by the people God has commissioned us to share the truth about His Son with.