// BRIAN MCCALLUM
PRAYING FOR unsaved family members is always an action believers should take. However, both the Word and experience tell us that prayer should not be the only action taken.
To begin looking into other ways of witnessing to unsaved or backslidden loved ones, let's consider what Paul wrote to the Corinthian church: "Love is patient, love is kind. . . . it does not seek its own, . . . does not take into account a wrong suffered, . . . believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails" (1 Cor. 13:4–5, 7–8 NASB).
Love is inclusive, not exclusive. NEVER LET LOST LOVED ONES BELIEVE THAT YOU THINK LESS OF THEM OR WANT TO AVOID THEM. When they need material help, be the first one there with the most to offer.
Take any opportunity to share wise counsel, but in doing so, don't put them down. Be like Jesus in dealing with the Laodicean church.
Give a Courtesy Knock
Revelation 3:20 (NASB) says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me."
What is a "knock"? It's not forced entry or kicking the door open! Here is an example of knocking on the door of someone's heart.
You might ask the person, "Have you learned anything from this experience?" If the answer is, "No, and I don't care to," recognize that you don't have an open door. You can offer any act of mercy they will allow, but don't attempt any further instruction at this point.
Remember, Jesus said, "If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in." The person you are dealing with must open the door to you.
What is an open door? If their reply to the above question was, "I'm not sure but I'd like to know." They're open to what you have to say. You can now minister as you are led by the Holy Spirit.
In both cases, the practical application of love and care was shown before and after the "knock." If the person didn't open the door at first, knock again before too much time passes. YOUR CONTINUING SHOW OF CONCERN MAY HAVE SOFTENED THEIR HEART.
Be a Living Epistle
Second Corinthians 3:2 says, "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men." This scripture conveys that A SILENT WITNESS IS ALSO AN ABLE MINISTER OF CHRIST.
Our actions speak volumes. They are just as powerful as the words we speak.
You can see then why you shouldn't hide from unbelieving relatives. How are they going to read the epistle that you are if they don't see or hear from you? Your love and care expressed in action, and your friendship and help in their times of trouble, will speak volumes to their hearts.
[Editor's Note: This article was adapted from the book You And All Your House by Brian McCallum.]
FAITH IN ACTION
Soul-Winning Confessions for Your Family
"I am patient with and kind toward my family. I show them acts of kindness when opportunities arise."
"I am more interested in their welfare than my own. So I invest my time and substance when compassion leads me to do so."
"I don't take offense from their wrong words or actions."
"I don't allow myself to magnify wrongs. Instead, I magnify what the Word has promised."
"My hope stays strong in Christ when evil or negative reports come."
"I endure and overcome when I am tempted to judge or think less of my loved ones because of their wrongdoings."