At this time of year, after the overindulgence of the holidays, we often make resolutions to change our habits and our way of life. A new year gives us an opportunity to start fresh and better ourselves. But come the middle of January, we somehow forget our resolutions and go back to our old ways.

It is so easy to forget the commitments and resolutions we make at New Year’s. There is, however, one resolution we need to make and keep: to share Jesus Christ with people.

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Jesus wants us to share our faith and go into the world and teach people about Him.

To fulfill this resolution, we need to develop some convincing ways to persuade the people we are in contact with—friends, co-workers, family members, and others— of their need for Jesus.

Let me share with you some character traits that we can develop as Christians to share our faith tactfully with those around us.

First, people must see in us a noticeable sincerity. There is nothing that turns people off to the gospel more than phony Christians. A major temptation for us is to try to cover up, to be deceptive, to act pious and religious, to pretend we are holy. If we are going to influence our community for Christ, we need to be honest with ourselves and honest with the world and openly admit we are no better than anybody else. Our church is made up of imperfect people. 

Second, we must have a passionate conviction. Someone once said that “one man with conviction is worth more than 99 with opinions.” defines conviction as “a strong belief.” I would add that conviction is a strong belief that elicits a deep emotion. Your belief in Jesus has to be passionate to be contagious. It has to be something that comes from deep in your soul. Enthusiasm goes a long way in convincing someone about Jesus.

Third, we need to have a spiritual reliance. If we are going to share Jesus with people, we must not do it by human effort alone. We need spiritual assistance to help us win people to Jesus Christ. That is why each of us must value prayer if we desire to speak to our friends about our faith. Before we speak to people about Jesus, we need God to work in their hearts.

Often the most effective way to bring people to Christ is to pray for them. Don’t try to share the gospel in words; just pray deeply and passionately for them and allow God to work in their hearts.

Finally, we also need an appealing urgency. Often we are too passive about sharing our faith. There’s a level of aggressiveness that repels people, but I don’t think that is our problem. We have such a casual, nonchalant spirit about sharing Christ that people don’t even know we are Christians.

Paul said, “We implore you on Christ’s behalf, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 5:20). “We implore you” sounds urgent, doesn’t it?

In 2013, let’s resolve afresh to share Jesus with people. The preacher George Whitfield once said, “O Lord, give me souls, or take my soul!” I hope we also can say that.