"And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should."
I recently heard a friend recount a startling experience. She ended the story with, “I literally died when he jumped in front of me!” Of course, she did not literally die. If she had, we could not have had that conversation. But I knew what she meant.
Still, we need to be careful to say what we mean and mean what we say. This is especially true when we share the Gospel, and even more so when we speak to children. Children are literal; they often think in concrete terms. Abstract phrases such as “ask Jesus into your heart” can be confusing for a child. Most children wonder how Jesus could fit in there!
When we share biblical truths with young ones, our listeners will benefit from age-appropriate vocabulary. This may not be the time to use words such as justification or sanctification. But depending on age, a young child may understand that God sent Jesus to us so we could be part of His family. Or that when we’re part of His family, God helps us do the right thing each day.
Words matter. Let’s choose ours carefully.
How would you describe to a child being "bound by sin" or
being "saved"? Prepare now for opportunities God will bring to share this news!