WHAT’S YOUR RESPONSE WHEN FRIENDS AREN’T READY TO CHOOSE JESUS?
“Can I walk with you?” These were the first words she said to me.
Cici was a South Indian woman originally from the state of Tamil Nadu. Her family owned the office building where I worked, and they ran a tech business down the hall. Every day from the window by her desk, she saw me walking around the outside of the building. And she wanted to get more exercise --- so she asked to join me.
Almost every day after that we would walk together and talk mostly about our families, culture, and religion.
HINDUISM VS. CHRISTIANITY
Growing up, Cici attended a Catholic school, but her family practiced Hinduism. As a Hindu, she believed she could add Jesus to the gods she worshipped and equated the saints in Catholicism with having many gods in Hinduism.
On our walks she told me about her gods. I told her stories from the Bible, clarified as Christians we worship one God, and shared how He had changed my life.
A few months later, my husband and I were preparing to move. I would be working remotely from a different city. I knew this would likely be my last significant conversation with Cici. And I felt God prompting me to be blunter than I had been in our precious conversations.
CICI’S RESPONSE TO THE GOSPEL
A bit nervously, I asked: “You seem more excited about Christianity than Hinduism. Why have you not chosen to follow Jesus?”
Her response was, “Because my family would disown me.” Cici wasn’t ready to choose Jesus over her family that day. But I pray someday she will be (Psalm 27:10).
WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE SAYS NO TO JESUS
Ideally, every person we share the gospel with would immediately accept, but we should be ready to face rejection as believers (John 15:18). So how should you respond when someone isn’t ready to say yes to Jesus?
- Pray for the person. Pray for ways to connect, to be hospitable, and for opportunities to show the gospel at work in your life. Ultimately, pray he or she would choose Jesus. (See 1 John 5:14-15)
- Remember your role. You have been asked by God to share the gospel (Matt. 28:19-20). How someone responds is not up to you, but God promises His Word doesn’t return void (Isa. 55:10-11).
- Invest in the relationship. Show the person you’re still committed to a friendship, even though he or she is not ready to choose Jesus. (See Luke 5:27-32).
Written by Lyndsay John. Reprinted from the September 2021 issue of Missions Mosaic, Woman’s Missionary Union, Birmingham, Alabama. Used by permission. To receive this issue, or subscribe to Missions Mosaic, call 1-800-968-7301.