A Smile Does Not a Witness Make

I’ve had people try to tell me that smiling and conducting myself in a certain way is witnessing. Some people try to tell me that they can reference God in other ways and folks will know that they are Christian.

What do you think?

On the one hand, people can see Jesus in you in the way you act if they know about Jesus. They can also think you are no different from the world if your behavior is out of line.

What if they know little about Jesus? What if they do not know Jesus at all? Your good behavior does not tell them anything.

I have met a lot of good people over the years. Unfortunately, some of them are not going to make it into heaven. They are going to find themselves in hell unless they change their beliefs. I am not judging them. They tell me straight up that they do not believe in Jesus as their Savior.

If you were to meet these folks, you’d think they were saved unless you held a conversation with them about Jesus. Even then, you still may not come to know what they believe without digging a bit. Most of them talk about God. They will even say they are going to heaven if you ask them. – But they are not going to heaven because they are not saved. You would have to ask a lot of specific questions to get a true picture of their faith.

Let me ask you this. Smiling and conducting yourself well might be a way of not blowing your witness, but how well are you being an effective witness by those actions? You can smile at someone all day long, but if they do not know Jesus as their Savior, you are not telling them what they need to know. You are not giving them the Gospel. You are just being nice and even a heathen can do that.

If you are thinking that your behavior may influence them to do good works, and that if they are good enough they will go to heaven, then you need to think again. Remember, works don’t save you.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10

If you’ve ever asked someone if they are going to heaven, and they said, “I’ve been good,” you need to talk to them. It sounds like they are putting their faith in works, and not in Jesus.


Today’s challenge is to ask the folks you see if they are going to heaven when they die. Then ask them how they know. Their answer may give you an indication if they have ever trusted Jesus as their Savior. It may also open the door for you to witness.

Smiling at someone is easy. Asking them if they are saved is where the rubber meets the road as they say. We are supposed to be witnessing. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, ask Jesus to help you.

When you do lead someone to Christ, remember they need discipling. Be sure to invite them to church where they can learn more.