Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Pet. 3:15)

THE PASTOR ASKED THE USHERS to darken the church, so they turned off all the lights and extinguished candles. Being overcast that Wednesday evening, very little light came through the windows. Then the pastor took a flashlight and shined it in the faces of congregation members, one by one. Most cowered. Many shielded their eyes from the sudden brightness. Several looked away.

“Now you know how it feels when you blast an unbeliever with Scripture,” he explained.

“We are to be the light of Christ’s truth to the world,” he continued. “But we must realize that when a person has lived all his or her life in darkness, his or her eyes may require time to adjust to light. How much better to shine a small beam and then, slowly, through your actions and words, brighten their lives with your faith testimony.”

Many walked away that night with a new understanding of witnessing. A few were even relieved to know that Jesus had not called them to preach from a soapbox in the town square. Actions speak louder than words. That is true when it comes to explaining to a person about the resurrection power of Jesus. Respect unbelievers and in gentleness meet them where they are and lead them toward the light.

Name someone you hope will see truth, then pray for him or her.

Julie B. Cosgrove is a widowed Christian author and speaker who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is involved with women’s and outreach ministries.