Seasoned Conversation

  • July 11, 2018
  • #9443

Christians should make the most of every opportunity to engage others in conversations about the Lord Jesus.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and the other day a guy shouted at me:

“Hey, lady, do you have a driver's license for that thing? Ha! Ha!" I was in an airport, speeding down the terminal to catch my plane. I’m a pretty good driver, and even when I power my wheelchair at a fast pace, I’m always careful to give people plenty of room. But that morning I was weaving in and out, and I passed this guy who, with a smile, asked if I had a driver’s license. “God bless you for believing I do!” I called back at him as I raced by. My wheelchair elicits so many comments like that. In fact, I’m surprised how many people initiate communication with me. I really don't mind it. In fact, I love it; whether in airports, waiting in line at the drugstore, wheeling down the mall, or even in elevators, people often just start talking to me. Usually, a Christian is the one who must jumpstart conversations, hoping to engage the interest of the other person. That's hardly the case with me. The wheelchair does the "initiating." I just kinda sit back and have fun responding.

I think most people don't expect me to look happy sitting in a wheelchair. They see that my legs and hands don’t work, and so they don’t expect to see a smile. Not long ago I was in an elevator with a group of men, and I was smiling and humming ‘Amazing Grace’. Someone asked about my smile, and I told them, "Well, I'm smiling because I have a reason for living." They always give me a curious look. That's when I might add: "Jesus has blessed me! Does your reason for living make you smile?" Sure, it’s a little up-front and it catches people off guard, sometimes delighting them, sometimes making them curious, and sometimes sending them running for the nearest exit. But one thing is for certain, it got them thinking! And to be honest, if in that elevator no one says anything at all, at least they see my wheelchair, see the smile, and hear me hum ‘Amazing Grace’. I figure they can easily connect the dots, right?

The truth is I've never heard of one certain style of giving the Gospel that is always a surefire success. It has a lot more to do with the Holy Spirit's work in a person's heart than it does with a certain technique or Gospel tract. And so, when we are on the run in an airport, or at the mall, or in line at the store, we Christians (you know how it is) do the best we can, grabbing a bit of opportunity here, nurturing it with a smile, fostering a conversation there, sprinkling it with prayer, seasoning it with our testimony, and leaving the results to God.

Colossians, Chapter 4 has good words for us when we are looking for ways to engage people in conversations, especially about the Lord Jesus. Beginning with verse 5, it says, "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Got that? Be wise in the way you act when you are out and about; make the most of (get this) every opportunity, and always let your conversation be seasoned with words that somehow make people thirsty for what you have. So, what is my prayer for you today? I pray that God will bring a prepared, hungry heart across your path today – whether at the market, the drug store or at school. May the Lord put a smile on your face, a song in your soul, and fill your mouth with words that will open a padlocked heart, because whether you are in line at a store, or in the mall or doing a purchase or running to catch a plane, thirsty souls are always looking for Living Water. Share that Water with encouraging words. God bless you today and thank you for listening to Joni and Friends.

© Joni and Friends

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