Copied from my post contribution on http://inamirrordimly.com
This is a nice series Ed, and thanks for putting it down.
Many approach “witnessing” as debate, and/or a goal-oriented task…the goal is convert…The guilt runs high too. The stakes are SO HIGH. The eternal soul! But, God is awfully big and powerful, and the Holy Spirit is at work, so being like Jesus is our best bet. I feel really comfortable with God’s capabilities.
While it’s true that Jesus told some to “go and sin no more,” he must have done it gently with sincere love, because sinners loved to be with him, and their lives were transformed. Jesus’ harshest words were very fiery, but they were expressly for the religious establishment–a wake up call. It gives one pause. Maybe righteous types just don’t “get it”? The story of redemption has far less to do with anger, in fact, it has almost nothing to do with it, unless you split up the Trinity into three gods. A Holy God needs recompense for sin before reconciliation, yes. But God provided a way to himself. This is a message of hope, love, and grace. To give a message that will sink into the heart of people, we have to remember we are saved to something, not from something. (Even now, without God, unbelieving sinners are caught in the “hell of self”.) It’s time to just invite them home.