Give Them What They Need
I was on an airplane once with a woman, and as we began to share our stories with one another, she opened up about how she had just had an affair. Her husband was very hurt and making a case publicly about how she had so wronged him. She felt the shame, she felt the public looking down on her, and she experienced a lot of guilt.
And as we talked, it became clear that she didn't know what to do with her shame. She was trying to make up for that, and as I listened to her and paid attention to what she was saying, I sensed she was struggling deeply with the weight of sin and the need for atonement.
I told her that her husband is looking for someone to pay for what she's done, and she's looking to have someone pay for what she's done. He wants her to pay. She feels the shame and believes that she should pay. But I let her know that someone has already paid.
There's someone who paid sufficiently for the sin of cheating on her husband. As long as she keeps looking to herself or her husband looks to her, they'll never be satisfied because they'll never pay enough, but Jesus paid once and for all for her sin. I told her that once she looks to Jesus and finds a true atoning sacrifice for what she's done to her husband, she can be free of the guilt, free of the shame, and no longer have to carry the weight of her own sin. Her husband will still want her to pay for it, but she can at least say to herself and to God, "I know I deserve it, but Jesus took it for me, and therefore I don't have to carry the weight that my husband wants me carry, even though I know I deserve it—Jesus took it, and I can walk in freedom from it."
The truth of the gospel frees us from the power of guilt and condemnation.
Listening is one of the most important aspects of evangelism. Speak Jesus into the needs of everyone you share the gospel with.
Introducing people to Jesus involves showing them how Jesus meets their needs better than anything else.