There are lots of different ways that a person can share with other persons their passion for a particular thing. As a sports fan I could always wear clothing from my favorite team, decorate my home with team pictures and memorabilia, and I could always make my team the subject of my conversation. Doing those kinds of things might not exactly endear me to other people. While some would like it, i.e. fans of a similar persuasion, others would likely flee when they saw me on the horizon! And there would be a few people who would engage me for the purpose of strongly expressing an opposite point of view. So it can go when you are passionate about something, particularly in the world of sports.
Sports aren't the only place where people are passionate about things and desire to share that with others. Sports just work easily as an example. Other examples include families, politics, and hobbies. And religion.
When we get passionate about things we can also be very emotional in how we express our passion. And we can express ourselves in ways emotionally that draw people to us, or push people away from us. Which is why is some circles there are rules, sometimes written and sometimes not, that no one in the group talks about politics or religion. Broaching those subjects in certain settings can cause the group to suffer as differences of opinion on politics and/or religion raise people's emotions to a point where self-control falters and hard feelings emerge.
All of this came to mind this morning when I was remembering a certain friend who uses the word "winsome" to describe the way he tries to present himself to others as a witness for Christ. To be winsome means to be:
"sweetly or innocently charming; winning; engaging: a winsome smile."
For my friend I think the term "engaging" is the most appropriate term from that definition. He seeks to be a person who presents himself in such a way that people will be willing to listen to him as he finds ways of sharing his faith with them.
I think that this is what Peter was getting at in his first letter, where he wrote this in chapter 3, verse 15:
"...but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect..."
There are many people in the world that I care deeply for and many situations that from my point-of-view, as a Christian, cry out for the Good News of Jesus to be spoken into them. But I need to be mindful of the way I bring that Good News to light, so that God may use it well for His purposes and to His glory.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.