So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 2 Timothy 1:8

My wife has a job in which she spends time in close contact with her clients. Often when they come to her they are in physical pain and nervous. She is a master at putting even the most difficult client at ease. So much so that people will ask for her rather than some of her colleagues. What’s her secret?

“Get them talking about themselves.”

When people can talk about something they are passionate about or knowledgeable about, they relax. Their focus turns from whatever pain they are going through to something they enjoy. One recent example was a client that she had been warned about. Others had worked with him and he was rude and obnoxious, or wouldn’t talk at all. My wife had him chatting and laughing before the end of their first session. The trick? She asked him about a tattoo on his arm.

The Apostle Paul is writing to his young protégé, Timothy. Timothy was going through some tough times in ministry and Paul was concerned that Timothy may lose heart. Those of us that work in ministry or in any other ‘service’ areas know how that can happen. We know we are right, we see the destructive path others are taking. Perhaps we’ve taken that road and found it to be painful and we urge others to avoid the trail, all to no avail.

What’s the secret to remaining true to our calling? Keep passionate about Jesus. People don’t need to hear about theology or doctrines. This generation in particular isn’t impressed with denominational dogma or the importance of following some tradition that has long ago lost its meaning or significance.

When Jesus walked on earth he spent most of his time focusing on the needs of others, not his own agenda. In fact, focusing on other people’s needs WAS his agenda. The defining characteristic of Jesus’ dealing with other people was leaving them with an increased sense of value. Value in themselves. Value in their own ability. Value in making important life changes.

Never grow weary in talking about Jesus. Never allow other people’s disposition and lack of faith keep you from expressing what Jesus has done for you. People can argue doctrine; they can’t argue what has happened to you personally.

During these perilous times when people are desperately searching for meaning and fulfillment, let your answer to them be your passion for Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus. During this time of Lent there are many people who are seeking answers to questions about their own lives. They are seeking relief from pain, doubt and worry. I may not be able to answer all their questions of relieve their concern, but help me to share my passion for all you have done for me. Amen.