By Greg Laurie
“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”—Ephesians 5:15–16
There are times when one of the best things to do to engage a nonbeliever is to just listen for a while and get to know them a little better. Then when the Holy Spirit prompts you to speak up about your faith, speak up.
In the book of Esther we read that she “had not told anyone of her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had directed her not to do so” (Esther 2:10 NLT). Some would say that she should have identified herself as a Jew, and by not doing so she was effectively compromising her faith.
There’s some merit to that argument, but there are some flaws in it as well, because sometimes you should speak up, and sometimes you should be quiet.
The problem with some Christians is they’re always talking about their faith but don’t back it up with their lifestyle. You might be surprised to hear me say this, but I think some Christians speak up too much. They feel they have to give a complete presentation of the gospel to everyone they meet. It’s this constant drone, and it isn’t the best way to do evangelism.
One of the great secrets of Billy Graham’s effectiveness was that he not only was a great preacher, but he also was a great Christian. He backed up his words with personal integrity. He loved his wife and children, and he was a humble man. That gave him even greater effectiveness in his ministry, because he never contradicted it with his lifestyle.
It’s a huge plus for the church when Christians live godly lives. They work hard and with integrity. They’re faithful to their spouses and keep their marriages together. Or, if they’re single, they don’t have sex before marriage. That’s a great testimony. Do that. Be that.
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