Investing time in a relationship is messy. It means letting go of your best-laid plans in exchange for someone else. It means sacrificing your time for the sake of another.
But, what if that sacrifice means the other person had a better idea of who Jesus is because of spending time with you?
As believers, that’s the opportunity we have. Whether you find yourself in the suburbs, a college dorm, or like me, across the ocean in a new country, we’re called to invest time in those God has placed around us for the gospel.
Investing time means putting all we have into a relationship with a friend, family member, or co-worker. So if that person hasn’t heard of the grace Jesus offers, they will know it as a result of being around us.
What does that look like? Well, thankfully, God hasn’t left us without an example.
In Luke 19:1–10, we see Jesus invest time in Zacchaeus. Here Jesus was, just passing through Jericho when, in verse five, Jesus tells the tax collector, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5 NIV).
Jesus knew Zaccheaus wanted to do more than just see Him. Jesus saw that investing time in Zaccheaus would lead to his salvation.
Investing time in your own “Zaccheaus” will look different depending on where God has you.
For me, investing time means eating lunch with a new friend and encouraging her to share Bible stories using the henna designs I have drawn on her hand. For me, investing time means stopping to talk with the people on my street, even if it’s a simple hello or a conversation in the broken language I’ve picked up in my country.
For you, it’s no different. Investing time means looking at the little and big things in your day that can become opportunities to share the gospel with someone.
Do you sit in a classroom every day with other college students? Do you sit in a cubicle or plan projects with co-workers? Do you rub elbows with other mommas in the trenches of parenthood learning how to love their growing little ones? Do the people you see day in and day out know the story of the grace Jesus freely gives?
If they don’t, those are the people who you can begin investing time in. It isn’t always easy, but we’re called to it because it’s what Jesus did.
Emily Todd* is a cross-cultural worker serving among the people of South Asia.
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