"In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)
The word evangelism once conjured up for me mental images of Bible-thumping, fist-pounding, loud-voiced preachers. Now I think of evangelism simply as a plain white candle. It's flame burns hot and strong, spreading light in the darkness. But as I grasp that candle, it feels cool to my touch and I have no difficulty holding it in my hand.
That's the kind of witness I feel called to be. My faith can burn brightly, but at the same time I can remain calm and cool. I am to speak about Jesus, but that does not mean that I get into heated arguments. I am to tell others about Jesus, but not in verbal battles. I am to have an answer for everyone who asks the reason for my hope, but I am to give my answer with "gentleness and respect" as Peter says.
Pushing our beliefs on others seldom meets with success. The winsome witness is a person in whom the light of Jesus shines brightly through gentle words and acts of love.
-- Tanya Ferdinandusz in The Upper Room