3 Qualities that Draw People to Ask about Our Faith


Most Christians want their light to shine among other people, to serve as a signpost to the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. But just how does a believer go about being a good witness? Sometimes the virtuous qualities and characteristics we strive hard to live out in life earn us a unique opportunity to reach others—for as the old adage reveals, “Actions speak louder than words.”

In my experience, people are much more attentive and receptive to my words about the truth of Christ and Christianity when they are the ones who have initiated the subject. That’s not to say that I will never bring up the gospel of my own volition—there certainly have been various times when I sensed that I needed to share the gospel of Christ with a person who had not first asked me about it. But generally, when it comes to sharing one’s faith with people with whom we have a long-term relationship, such as a non-Christian family member, coworker, or friend, I have found that the gospel discussion is so much more fruitful when the other person brings up the topic first.

But what sorts of things can serve to draw another person’s attention to our deeper beliefs about spiritual realities? Here I offer three qualities that I think serve to draw people to ask about our faith.

1. Strive to Have a Robust Work Ethic

How an individual approaches work or their job reveals a great deal about the person. People are used to encountering others who cut corners, are lazy, and have numerous excuses as to why they can’t work hard. But a person with a strong work ethic stands out. Why? Because you can’t fake genuine hard work. Our workplace is where we, in practical terms, either “put up or shut up.” When we earn a reputation for being a hard worker, people want to know where the fire in the belly comes from. They genuinely wonder why you give it your all. Scripture reveals that believers are to work diligently in order to honor God (Colossians 3:23).

2. Strive to Prize and Handle Truth as If It Is Sacred

People know when you’re playing fast and loose with the truth. In fact, lying is so common that we expect it even from people who have taken a pledge to be truthful. But an honest person who handles all truth, big and small, with care and precision, stands out. Truth tellers are rare, and when people encounter them in life they are more willing to consider what they have to say. The triune God is Truth with a capital T. In fact, Jesus Christ specifically called himself the Truth (John 14:6). Thus, Christians should strive to treat all truth as if it is sacred because it is.

3. Strive to Treat All People with Respect

How you treat other people, especially difficult people, reveals a great deal about your character. It is easy to be kind to people who are in return kind to you, but earning a reputation for treating even ill-tempered people fairly and respectfully makes you stand out. You can treat a person with respect even if you don’t particularly like the individual. Doing so means that you treat each person as if they have inherent dignity and moral worth. When you treat people respectfully, no matter the situation, others will want to know why. The Christian answer is that all people are worthy of respectful treatment because they are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26–27).

Striving to be a hard worker, a truth teller, and respectful of others isn’t easy, and none of us can do it perfectly. We must remember that we are all forgiven sinners with an inner human nature that is broken and in need of divine transformation. Thankfully, salvation comes solely by God’s grace. But even with our constant imperfections, non-Christians will take notice when you strive to take work, truth, and human respect seriously.

Reflections: Your Turn

What traits do you consider to be spiritually attention-getting? What did God use to draw you to salvation in Christ?


For more on evangelism, apologetics, and salvation in Jesus Christ, see my book 7 Truths That Changed the World.

  One thought on “3 Qualities that Draw People to Ask about Our Faith

  1. June 28, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Thank you Ken for expanding on the principles of 1 Peter 3:15. Currently I am getting to know a new friend. Already she has detected some of my best qualities, and asked me how I stay calm after an adverse outcome, how I avoid anxiety and depression, and why I do not have a “bucket list.” These questions easily led to discussions about my faith in Christ — the reason for the hope that is in me.
    What a joy and privilege it will be, if God is using me to draw her to Him.

    • June 28, 2016 at 1:02 pm


      Thank you for sharing about your interactions with others.

      Again I appreciate your comments.

      Grace & Peace,

      Ken Samples

  2. June 28, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    What did God use to draw you to salvation in Christ?

    I grew up in a Christian home and a small Independent Baptist church. I learned bible stories in Sunday school and that drinking and cursing sends you to hell from the yellen and spitten from the preacher. However, there was no foundational teaching. So, in high school I fell away from any real Christian identity. After high school I went into the military, during which Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code book and movie came out. After reading and watching, I began to really question everything I knew of the Christian faith. I began searching on the Internet for articles and books to help me ether give up Christianity or concrete it. It was articles and books from people that have the “traits” and characteristics that I find in you that led me to understand Christianity to be true, and the only worldview that makes sense. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology was especially foundational in those first few years of searching and reading.

    • June 28, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      Wow, David.

      Thank you for sharing a little about your interesting journey. I’m grateful God’s grace has so clearly and powerfully worked in your mind and life.

      Thanks as well for your kind comments. I’m glad we can interact through this blog site.

      Warm regards my friend.


  3. June 30, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Amen! Also in Matthew, Jesus commands us to be salt & light to the world we live in. Just a little salt enhances the food, while too much makes it inedible. Similarly, a soft glow is aesthetically pleasing while a thousand watt floodlight is blinding.

    • June 30, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      Great comments, Bob.

      Thank you.

      Ken Samples

  4. Kezza
    June 30, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Most importantly shying away from any gossip in the work place – resist the impulse to sit and listen to it or, worse still, participate.

    • June 30, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      Thank you, Kezza, for your helpful comment.

      I appreciate it.

      Best regards.

      Ken Samples

  5. Rita Gorski
    July 5, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Something I read recently by Jim Wilson, Taking Men Alive:Evangelism on the Front Lines, caught my attention and makes so much sense. He said, “When your eyes are closed, you don’t want light. Before evangelizing, get people to open their eyes. Then give them gospel light.” I’ve been thinking of ways to approach people I love in that way and one of them took the bait!
    As for me, as far as I can remember I have had a zeal for God, but did not know Him personally. Until a fellow co-laborer in an organization we both were part of began to pray for me. Then my curiosity for more of God grew. (The Lord revealed to me later that Nena prayed heartily for me during this time. Thank you, Nena, as you are enjoying being in the presence of the Lord!)

    • July 5, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Thanks, Rita, for sharing your thoughts and experiences in the Lord.

      Best regards in Christ.

      Ken Samples

  6. Beth
    August 8, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Being a good witness can be challenging these days. I used to have a bisexual female friend who was dating a transwoman (male to female). Because I was always kind and respectful to my friend and her girlfriend, treating them like anyone else, my friend assumed that I was LGBT-approving. I could tell that she assumed that even though she never asked me directly. I didn’t think I could be a good example of a Christian if she thought that I was a Christian who approved of LGBT behaviors, so I explained to her that I wanted to be completely honest with her and let her know that I hold a biblical view of LGBT issues. She immediately accused me of being hateful and cut ties with me. Situations like that make it really hard to balance honesty with trying to be a good witness.

    • August 8, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Hello, Beth.

      You’re right, being a witness for Christ can be at times very challenging. In sharing my faith over the years I’ve encountered very receptive people but also some who were turned off and even offended at me. These encounters made me think about how I might effectively witness to people over the long haul in which I might not have much direct discussion with about the Gospel.

      There are no easy answers when it comes to evangelism and it is a lot more convenient for me when others ask me about the faith.

      I hope you and your family are doing well.

      Warm regards in Christ,

      Ken Samples

      • December 14, 2017 at 5:11 am

        I believe Beth’s experience is an example of what Jesus meant when he said “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” Matthew 10:34-35. The truth is exclusive. It naturally sets boundaries, drawing lines. Some people stand on one side, some on the other. Often people are offended by us simply because we proclaim the truth. They say we are un-Christlike because what we say offends them, but they are thinking of the wrong Jesus, one created in their image.

        We should speak the truth in a way that makes people want to leave the lies, but sometimes people simply love the lies.

  7. Jackie Plamondon
    August 12, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I hear what you are saying. Behavior and character matter and it is always helpful when people are the ones who start a spiritual conversation or ask questions in regard to why we are at peace, etc. but the problem I have is that many (probably most) of my family and childhood friends don’t have a personal relationship with the Lord yet believe that they are going to heaven. Therefore, they don’t really have anything to ask me. They know of my “religion” as they like to say and when my mother was in Hospice, my sister told the Chaplain that I was the “spiritual” one in the family and would take care of her :). My mother’s cancer journey did open doors to sharing my faith with my father and other members of my family. It seemed to comfort them but I haven’t seen much interest since then (3 years ago). I realize that part of it is the religious tradition they have grown up in which tends to teach “works” and “being good” view. Many seem to think that they have done enough works and have been good enough. When my mother was dying, the exact words she used were “I think I’ve been good enough to get into heaven”. Of course, that was my opportunity to share the gospel as I certainly did. Did she believe me, understand me, cry out to God? I don’t really know. I hope so.

    • August 12, 2016 at 4:13 pm


      Thanks for sharing about your family. Popular religious sentiment (like “All good or descent people go to heaven.”) is often at odds with biblical teaching.

      But you must be doing something well for your family to identify you as the spiritual one.

      Best regards in Christ.

      Ken Samples

  8. August 29, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    I just wanted to say, I think you are very right on when it comes to being a living witness to get others to ask about our faith. I do believe with all my heart that The Lord has many different personalities that He lines up with just the right soul. Some are evangelist that make any opportunity, while others have very meek spirits that draws people to ask. We plant, we water, but it is God that gives the increase. Thanks for sharing…..

    • August 29, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Hello, Linda.

      Thank you for your very insightful theological comments.

      Best regards in Christ.

      Ken Samples

  9. October 18, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Reblogged this on Cyber Penance.

    • October 19, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Thank you for the reblog.

      Ken Samples

  10. Monica Temple
    October 12, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I believe that displaying a compassionate, open demeanor towards others helps them to know they are valued and respected. It is so important to engage people with eye contact and actively listen to what they are saying. Think of how God listens to and hears our prayers, not just the words, but the feelings behind them. He looks to our hearts and knows what is inside. And how Jesus listened so attentively to everyone he met and taught. Compassionately listening to others, no matter what the topic, can result in a deeper conversation with opportunities to share the hope that lies within us.

    • October 12, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Thanks, Monica. I appreciate your comments.

      Best regards.

      Ken Samples

  11. Mike Graebner
    December 7, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I wold like to thank Reasons to Believe that showed me that I did not have to leave my brain at the church door. I have found it best to ask questions first. I have a fiend who is an atheist and I asked her what she believed. She said no one have ever asked her that before. What she told me was a bit bizarre but it allowed me to eventually convince her that Jesus was a real person. She does not believe He is God but I hope I have planted a seed.

    • December 7, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Mike. Good things can come from asking questions.

      Keep up the good work.

      Merry Christmas!

      Ken Samples

      • Mike Graebner
        December 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm

        I have a friend who’s son has decided to be Jewish instead of Christian. Are there any references/books that would contrast the 2 religions. Thanks

      • December 7, 2017 at 1:40 pm


        The Messianic Jewish scholar Michael Brown has a number of good books looking at Jesus and Judaism: https://www.amazon.com/Answering-Jewish-Objections-Jesus-Historical/dp/080106063X

        Best regards.

        Ken Samples

    • June 16, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Thanks for the link.

      Ken Samples

  12. Erskine Ashbee
    May 30, 2020 at 3:58 am

    As an unbeliever nearing age 40, I was arrested by the reaction of a Christian mother to the loss of her child. The 8 year old boy next door died suddenly of an aneurism. In the midst of this unspeakable grief I saw the child’s mother at the funeral and in the long months afterward; she was calm, unwavering in the confidence she would see her boy again. Her courage led me to seriously weigh the claims of Christ.

    • May 30, 2020 at 8:12 am

      Thanks for sharing this story, Erk.

      Ken Samples

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