As a kid, I took my job of sharing my faith very seriously, and with the finesse and tact of a bull in a China shop.
In third grade, I told my very best friend at the time that if she didn’t read her Bible, she was going to hell.
I’m sure there was a part of me that was genuinely concerned about her soul, but another part of me was just kind of a know-it-all brat.
20 years later, I actually apologized to this friend because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even if I did mean well all those years ago, I had a LOT to learn about what it meant to be the “light of the world.”
In middle school I was in physical therapy for my back. While pretending to do my PT exercises, I was sure that God was telling me to approach a woman and tell her Jesus loves her. I did. She seemed annoyed, so I quickly ran away and hid in the bathroom while a nervous rash likely covered my entire body.
To this day I have no idea if the Holy Spirit was actually impressing on me that I should talk to her, or if it was my undiagnosed anxiety disorder in full swing telling me I was a ‘bad Christian’ if I didn’t do it.
Anyways, if you are that lady from Orthopedic Associates in 2002, I hope you know that I am still thinking about you.
Sharing the Gospel, the good news of how Jesus saves, is one of the most challenging and terrifying things for me . This is interesting, because it is singlehandedly the most important piece of who I am…in fact, saved by Jesus IS who I am.
Yet so often, I allow my fear to stop me from speaking life. Fear of offending people, fear of sounding judgmental, fear of looking stupid.
This past week in my Bible study of Romans, my group and I discussed at length the importance of sharing the Gospel with the world.
Paul says this in Romans 10:
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
When I first read this, I thought I was off the hook after I read the word “Preach.”
I’m not a pastor. I’m not a full-time vocational missionary.
I spend my days preaching to kids to cover their mouths when they cough and to stop bringing random pieces of garbage to me that they found on the floor. Seriously just throw it away, child.
I am happy to leave the preaching to the people who know what they are doing.
But that is a burden too big to bear for our friends and family in full time ministry. How can we place the weight of the unbelieving world in their hands?
Additionally, many of the people who need to hear the Gospel are not the ones sitting in the pews at church. They are in our offices and hallways and supermarket aisles.
So this week, I have been thinking and praying about how to do this.
How do I share my faith in a way that isn’t annoying, judgmental or instilling fear in others?
With whom do I need to be talking openly about Jesus?
Sharing the Gospel has been on my mind all week- especially since in my Bible Study class I was overcome with excitement and exclaimed “LET’S ALL SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH SOMEONE THIS WEEK AND REPORT BACK!” I admire the emotionally charged up version of myself. So sure. So brave.
It’s Friday and I still haven’t.
I thought about it last night when Max and I started talking to this man at the grocery store who had his two therapy chihuahuas with him. (Ever since marrying me, Max finds himself in many unique situations such as this.)
I believe the dogs name were Phoebe and Fawn, dressed comfortably in hot pink knitted sweaters. He took great pleasure in telling us all about his girls and how calm they were. He was clearly lonely, and from my view, at Meijer yearning for social interaction with other people.
Maybe I missed an opportunity last night, but I trust God can still use that short conversation to point that sweet older man to Him.
So for now, I will pray. Pray for opportunities and courage. Pray for God’s timing and will, not mine. Pray that this life He has given me and the grace He has extended to me can be used to point others to this beautiful hope I have.
Luckily, God is patient and compassionate and fully able to use my weaknesses to showcase His power beautifully. I encourage you to join me in praying for courage and opportunities to share about our Savior. This world needs it more than ever!