I have tried to rewind the discussion of last week's Bible study to determine how we came to discuss evangelism...
...Were we diverted by our efforts to protect our idols from exposure by reviewing the idols of the culture in which we live? Thanks be to God, who is able to do more than we would ever ask or imagine! As we attempted to cover our idols, He used our attempt to expose another idol: Fear of Man (aka: Pride).
Only in Scripture do I see the admonition to live the life of a gentle and quiet spirit so that they may be won without words. Only in Scripture do I see the admonition to let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.
Nowhere in Scripture do I see either examples of or commands to keep our mouths shut in order to witness. The shining light is not to the exclusion of proclaiming, verbally, God's truth. The gentle and quiet spirit passage actually does tell the wife of an unbelieving husband to keep her mouth shut, but that is pretty specific.
I don't know about anyone else, but I can find more excuses on my own to keep my mouth shut, and generally need a kick in the butt to get me going. I think that Jesus called this being ashamed of Him before man, and said of that person (me) that He, then would be ashamed of him before His Father.
A dear sister told about when she was a new Christian and she was so filled with the joy of her Savior that from a certain perspective, she might have been seen as "overly zealous". She talked her friend's ear off until her friend didn't want to hear any more. We feel like a fool, and as we look back, we think, " how foolish I was, how could I have behaved so foolishly!" But through whose eyes are we seeing this? Not through the eyes of Christ, I think, but through the eyes of flesh. Would not Jesus have looked at His servant lovingly to see her talking so foolishly to her friend? And wasn't it the Sword of the Spirit who divided her and her friend, causing her friend to all the more vehemently reject the message, and the messenger with it? Would our sister also have taken credit for it if her friend had received with joy the message of salvation and kissed the Son? No, then why would she take the credit for the rejection of the Precious Blood of Jesus?
If anyone understands the fear of man, it is I.
We also need to guard our hearts against pride. It is not to hear our own words or to acheive quotas or goals that we do this; although, I believe He will even use this, while also disciplining His arrogant servant. It is out of obedience to our Master. He calls us to it, and will enable us to do it. He calls us to sow the seed. We need to trust Him to make it grow, or not.