In National Service, I get to know people from all walks of life. We enter with the same rank and similar hairstyle or lack thereof. We land ourselves in unexpected conversations, and are given opportunities to forge unexpected friendships.
One day in camp, I felt this strong urge to find out the answer to this question: “Do animals have souls?” For no rhyme or reason, it came to my mind and something in me kept telling me to find out the answer. That evening, a bunk mate asked me, “Do animals have souls?”
I was stunned, I thank God for prompting and preparing me. My bunk mate and I soon had a deeper conversation about Christianity and how I came to place my trust in the Lord. The answer to one relatively simple question opened the door to a meaningful conversation I never saw coming. After our talk, 1 Peter 3:15 came to mind.
“But in your hearts revere 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)
As we honour and revere God, we obey Him. Having obediently read up about that question, I could further engage my bunk mate about Christ. I thank God that I was “… prepared to give an answer to give the reason for the hope” I have. My bunk mate asked two more questions that left me discouraged, as they highlighted my lack of knowledge about my faith and my God. However, I read up and found out in-depth. To share the Good News, should I not first ensure I am equipped enough to do so?
A person can find the Good News offensive, but the messenger should not offend them. This is why we share with gentleness and respect. Answering a friend and proving God is real can be hard, but to do it with love and good-will is something else. Bringing someone to Christ sparks a joy in me like no other knowing it is God who convicts him, not me.