Happy Monday, friends! I have a mini quiz for you to start off your week:
- Does the idea of sharing your faith make you uncomfortable and anxious?
- Do you feel inadequate to share your faith because you don’t have the right education or an actual Bible degree?
- Have you ever felt the whisper of the Holy Spirit to speak up in conversation, but chickened out due to fear of judgement?
- Do you understand the importance of sharing Jesus’ love with others, but you’re not sure where to begin?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone! Sharing faith can be intimidating, especially when you’re just starting out. I know that for me, the thought of rolled eyes and exclusion from friends feels terrifying.
I have pondered this for a long time, and the Lord has brought three ideas to my mind:
First: I do not understand scripture as much as I thought I did, if I am so quick to give up, and
Second: I might have some incorrect assumptions about God’s expectations on me as a Gospel-bearer.
Third: It’s not about me. I need to take the focus off myself and put it on the person that is in front of me.
Here are a few lessons from scripture I hope will empower and encourage you to see sharing faith in a new light.
- Be courageous! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 CSB.
In this passage, Judas Iscariot has already left to complete his betrayal. Jesus is giving this last message to the 11 disciples gathered in the upper room. He tells them that among many troubles and persecutions, they still had reason to be peaceful and courageous. It is his parting “sermon” to the men who would be among the first to share the Gospel around to the rest of the unbelieving world.
If this is what Jesus had to say to the first group of witnesses, there is certainly worth in it for me. Read the rest of what Jesus said during that last Passover with his disciples here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john+13-17&version=CSB
- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:7 CSB
God gives only good things to those who love him (James 1:17). Any thought or statement that tells you otherwise is not from God. Of course fear and intimidation are natural to anything we try for the first time, because of our imperfect nature. That doesn’t make what you’re doing any less worthy. The enemy would love to derail any spiritual progress you make in the name of Jesus, especially if it means that your progress might have a hand in the progress of others.
- “But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Yet do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience,” 1 Peter 3:15-16a CSB
I can think of at least two recent situations where someone literally asked me the question “How do you handle [X situation] with such peace?” It was the perfect open door to share the incomprehensible peace of Christ, but I chickened out. I panicked and gave a dumb answer and changed the subject. Total fail.
Looking back, I think the reason I failed was my lack of understanding of the first part of verse 15: “but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy”. Humans always want to jump to the action item and be useful. When I first read that, I read it as a command to “always be prepared” like some sort of “Christian boy scout”, eager to earn my next badge. But God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8) and his purpose in giving us that instruction is not so that I can somehow add anything to what God has already provided. According to that scripture, we share the good news of Jesus because he is holy, set apart, the king of my heart – it’s all about him, not me.
- It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant” 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 CSB
Just prior to this verse, Paul describes believers as “living letters”:
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are Christ’s letter, delivered by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God – not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 2 Corinthians 3:1-3
True disciples of Jesus are sent out among our circle of influence, just like letters travel out into the world. As believers, you and I are intrinsically valuable to God, and our worth is not as only some pawn in God’s overarching scheme. Each one of us is a unique, living, love letter, that God is transforming each day into a message written to the unbelieving world, that they might come to faith in Jesus.
Something I repeat to myself over and over is, this is God’s work and God’s Word, God’s project, not my own. My job is to trust and obey. Even as a writer I work hard at what I know to do, but one of my prayers is that only Gods voice would be heard through my humanity. I also love this saying that Mother Teresa is supposed to have said: “I am but a pencil in the hand of God.”
- Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person. Colossians 4:5-6 CSB
Sharing faith is a lifestyle, an attitude of living, and not a mission trip. I think we psych ourselves out by viewing this as an intentional job with a checklist, where we either succeed or fail. But the truth is, no matter how educated and assured you are about what you are sharing, you’ll still never really know the impact of what you have shared on a soul.
The point is, don’t stress out over fear of judgement, or lack of confidence in all the doctrine and getting into a debate. God is pleased with you because of Jesus. You are not under the law, but under Grace (Romans 6:14). Therefore, sharing the hope you have in Jesus (Matthew 5:16) is not a task which will “earn” points with God.
But Scripture says that the spirit is what convicts hearts, not us (Ephesians 2:8-9). God is in the business of convicting and converting, but we are to be abut the business of obedience. We love God and one another, and live under submission to his good will.
How do you approach the act of sharing your faith with others? What other scriptures come to mind that you didn’t see here?
Want to read more about how the Holy Spirit convicts?
Check out: https://www.openbible.info/topics/convicting_convincing_and_converting_power_
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