Throw Out the Lifeline!
To Your Unsaved Relations
Lately the Lord has laid it upon my heart to tell you of the difficulties and rewards of my family’s efforts to witness to our unsaved family, and to encourage you in this area, too.
It is much harder to witness to our relatives than to other who we come into contact with or meet. Perhaps this is because we are more acquainted with our relatives than somebody on the street, and perhaps we are even afraid to tell them. Let that last thought never exist in your mind! When you have the opportunity to witness, doubts come to mind (“What will they think of me…?”), etc. We may even feel that this will take our reputation from good Christians to fanatics. Let us remind ourselves with the thought that we have no reputation to lose as our reputation is Christ’s, and witnessing will not tarnish our reputation but will add up more eternal rewards for us in Heaven!
Mama and Papa became Christians 18 years ago and ever since they have been praying and trying to sow seeds in the hearts of our family. Finally, just one year ago, Mama’s youngest brother, Peter, became a Christian. Sometimes we would begin to wonder if anything was ever going to happen, but this was an answer to 18 years of faithful prayer! Uncle Peter has remained steadfast and firm in his new belief, even though it meant that his wife would divorce him. Please pray for him, that he will continue to grow, and face all attacks with great courage. Sometimes the Lord will lay it upon your heart to speak to Grandpa or Aunt Sue, but they are maybe miles away or perhaps you think they are busy. Never doubt and always obey! Maybe the Lord is preparing their heart at that time.
One evening when I was baby-sitting for Mama and Papa, I felt a strong urge to speak to Grandpa. Then Satan flooded my mind with, “Do you even know what you will say to him? It is long distance. Mom and Dad wouldn’t be impressed if they found out you phoned him without their permission!” It was a great struggle, but I gave it to the Lord in prayer. I phoned Grandpa and talked to him. He had some pretty persuasive arguments, and sometimes I wouldn’t know what to say, but the Lord just gave me the words He wanted Grandpa to hear. When I later told Mama and Papa of this, Mama gave me some good advice—“Even though Grandpa didn’t want to hear what you had to say, and didn’t want to accept it, he can never forget your words. Perhaps the Lord will bring them up later at a crucial time, or he won’t stop remembering them.”
It is important to remember that you cannot just speak to relations and that’s it—you must pray, pray, pray. The Bible says, “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) This is very important. James says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16) Maybe all we can do is pray as our relatives do not want us to speak to them about anything to do with Christianity. Then we must make it our goal to pray daily for them. In closing, I’d just like to encourage you to witness, to let your light shine brightly, and above all, to pray. May the Lord help you in your endeavors to speak to your unsaved loved ones.
In our Savior,