Religious witnessing can bring on controversy at times. Street preachers asking, “Have you been saved?” Mormon Elders going door to door to discuss the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jehovah’s Witnesses handing out issues of The Watchtower. A co-worker, a dinner guest, or a stranger standing next to you in a lunch line wanting to express how Jesus changed her life. For some of us, that causes discomfort. We think it shouldn’t, but it does. And sometimes, we feel guilty.
When I think of witnessing, the first scripture that comes to mind always seems to be Romans 1:16 (NIV): “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…” Then there is the Great Commission, Jesus telling his disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel. (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16) How can people know about Jesus unless a believer tells them? (Romans 10:13-15) If we can’t verbally witness, we can by our good deeds. (Matthew 5:16; Galatians 6:9)
After a recent, longer-than-usual trip to see one of our grandsons (and his family), we hailed a taxicab at the airport about 9:30 p.m. for a ride to our house. Within two minutes, the taxicab driver began: “Saved by grace, planting the seed, baptized in the Spirit, the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I was tired and desired quiet. I told him that I believed what he was saying and that we went to church. He was not deterred.
As we rode along, his testimony produced a pleasant rhythm, a sense of rightness. We talked about our families. We learned he was a radio preacher. We reached our house. I gave him a nice tip. I wished him well.
He was not ashamed, but I guess I was.