Yesterday we closed by noting that Paul and Silas joined that prayer meeting in Philippi to witness, not to convict, or judge, and especially not to argue.
We don't accomplish much with arguments. Paul warned Timothy about that:
Most of the time, when we get into an argument with someone, they don't move any closer to our point of view -- many times they just are cemented deeper into their own opinions! Check out verse 25 above: "....gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth."
We can see that Paul was telling Timothy to trust God to convict people of their sins. If Timothy would do the witnessing, God would do the convicting. And He will still do that today, if we will witness for Him!
There's another example of the "Cookies and Milk" approach in another chapter of Acts:
So Apollos was preaching about Jesus -- and doing a great job -- but he didn't fully understand baptism. Peter said that Christian baptism was not only about repentance, but it was also about being baptised in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).
Priscilla and Aquila, two Christians in the town, heard Apollos preaching. They knew for a fact that he was incorrect about baptism. What did they do? How did they respond?
Did they get mad?
Did they stand up in the assembly and challenge him, or rebuke him?
Did they embarrass him in front of the people he was talking to?
All of those would be found under the "hitting over the head with a 2 by 4" category. Head-bashing, indeed.
No, they took him aside, and talked with him privately. Kinda like they took him home for cookies and milk, or lamb, or challah bread, or something. (Grin)
The Bible tells us they invited him to their home and explained things to him. They gently instructed him.
What was the result of their approach?
Apollos learned from their instruction, and was a great helper to the believers in Achaia! He was able to witness to the Jews and prove from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah!
We can see from these passages that we can be effective witnesses for Jesus by simply telling what Jesus has meant in our lives, and gently instructing others in what we have experienced. Even people who we perceive as "religious" can gain from our testimony and our witness.
We just need to make sure we don't bash any heads, right?