Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Gal. 5:25)

JITTRAKARN IS AN ONLY CHILD from a wealthy family, living in a high-rise apartment in a large city; her language is Thai and her religion Buddhism. As an exchange student, she moved to our English-speaking family of six kids in a country home headed up by a Wesleyan pastor. Talk about changes! Our task was to make her feel at home, to help her adjust so she could absorb our language and culture.

Jittrakarn attended a Christian high school with my daughter, studied the Bible on a daily basis, attended church with us each week, and had many conversations with us about faith, so she knew what we believed. But, to my surprise, I didn’t feel led to ask her to give her life to Christ. Instead, I attempted to simply show her love and joy and peace.

It’s tempting to push our own agendas; it’s harder to have a lifestyle of love. But God doesn’t want us to force Him on anyone; He wants us to be filled with His light so He can draw all His children to himself.

One of Jittrakarn’s last essays was to explain her favorite Bible passage, and she wrote about God’s forgiveness. “I like the idea of a world that is loving, and I want to be that way myself,” she wrote. “God is good.”

Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.

Heather Gemmen Wilson is the author of the Global Warning Series (WPH), a fiction series for preteens. She is married to a Wesleyan pastor.