If you are anything like me, striking up a conversation with a stranger or pursuing a friendly relationship with someone can be awkward and challenging. We desire to make the love of Jesus known in our communities, but engaging the lost and initiating friendships with them do not always feel “natural”.
What is a “learner’s spirit?”
I recently learned the importance of taking on a “learner’s spirit” before going out to meet new neighbors, prayer-walk, or share stories about Jesus. I am often shocked at how quickly I can be deceived into thinking that I am the hero, I have the good news, and I have all the answers. But pride is at the root of this attitude. We all know that pride will get us nowhere, and we will be 0% effective in God’s Kingdom with this type of attitude.
Humility is at the root of a learner’s spirit. This attitude speaks volumes: “I am not the hero. I do not have all the answers. But I am willing to learn from you.” When we engage the lost, especially those coming from different religious and cultural backgrounds, we have so much to learn! As we listen, we will learn, and we will become more aware of the needs of people and how we can effectively witness to them. Eventually, people will likely say to us, “Enough about me; I want to hear about you and what you believe!”
Live it out
Have you ever considered visiting a local mosque or temple? Has God put it on your heart to reach out to a Buddhist family that just moved in a few doors down from you? If so, I can guarantee you will not make any friends if you come ready to “tell” them everything you know about Jesus or the handful of things you know about their religion or culture.
However, if you visit with a humble attitude and learner’s spirit that says, “Hello! I am curious about other religions and cultures. I would really like to learn more about who you are and what you believe. Would you be willing to spend some time teaching me?”, you will have a great opportunity to learn more and share the love of Jesus when it is your time to speak.