Our daughter was coming up the driveway when my husband made the universal signal for “roll down your window.” (You know, the crank-your-arm-in-a-circular-motion signal.) Because she has never literally had to roll down a window, she didn’t know he wanted to talk to her. She kept on driving. As we all do when someone misunderstands, he made the motion more fervently. Still, she drove on.
Later, we laughed about the miscommunication.
It’s easy to think we are communicating clearly when—in reality—we aren’t. It’s funny when it comes to a car window. It’s not funny when we’re talking about Jesus, because there is much more at stake.
If you believe in Jesus, you have the job of communicating clearly to people who don’t yet know about Jesus. They will not know some of your big, fancy church words, because they haven’t learned them. Don’t say, “We all know the story of Noah.” (They might not.) Tell them the story of a man who built an ark and how God saved him and his family. Don’t expect them to have the same standards of morality, because they haven’t yet learned about God’s good plan for his people. Don’t assume they’ve heard the story of salvation. Tell them exactly what Jesus did and how eternities are changed because of him.
Instead of expecting them to learn your ways, take a great lesson from 1 Corinthians 9:22: “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”