Acts 26:29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” (NIV)
I love the genial attitude of Paul when he is being interrogated by the local Roman rulers in Acts chapter 26. He knows that his life is on the line, but instead of remaining fearfully silent or pleading for forgiveness, he shares his faith in Christ and hopes that those who listen to him will come to know Jesus, too. It’s not an act of staunch defiance; it’s a simple profession of faith which he compassionately expresses.
I think we can all learn a lot from the apostle about how we can share our faith. He doesn’t compel anyone to comply to what he believes, instead Paul offers an invitation to join Christ’s Kingdom to the rulers and their courtiers who are listening to his testimony. The apostle truly wants them to accept Christ as their Savior, but he does not insist that they must do this. He respects their individual freedom to choose what they want for themselves; all that Paul is doing is being the Gospel messenger that Jesus called him to fulfill.
As Christians, we witness to Christ every day through our words and deeds. Sometimes we say and do the right things which may complement our faith; on other occasions, our bad behavior and ill-chosen words can repel those around us from knowing Christ, especially when we try to force our beliefs on others who think, live, and do things differently. Remember, Paul did not coerce Agrippa and Festus into becoming believers; he sincerely invited them to consider it.
Q: How do I project my faith to others? Am I invitational or confrontational?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we were invited to have faith in You through other people who followed Your way. We know that we are flawed and imperfect, so we ask for Your guidance to help invite others to faith through compassion, grace, and, above all, love. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.