If I gave you a million dollars, and told you that if you handed out half of it, a hundred dollars at a time to random people, then you could keep the rest, what would you do? What if I told you that you could only hand it out to people you didn’t know? My guess is that 99.99% of the people reading this would take me up on the offer in a heartbeat. I doubt many would even be scared to do it at all. So why is it that many Christians, including myself, often find it very scary, or stressful, to share, or even think about, sharing the Gospel? My goal in this month’s post is to give my perspective on this, and share what I do to overcome this fear.
One of the first things we learn in life is the “power” of money. Even as young kids we learn that in order to get candy we need money! We also learn that if we have money we can acquire and accomplish a number of things that we could not without…money like get education. This everyday experience with money leads us to be confident in its ability, which is what makes most, if not all, people confident in handing out money to strangers. We know almost every time it will be accepted, and in those instances when it is rejected we understand that we are not lesser because of that rejection. We also might even feel bad for the person who missed out on a free hundred bucks!
The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.”(NLT) Essentially Paul is saying that he isn’t ashamed of the Gospel because in the depth of his being he understands its value to anyone who believes it. Now it’s one thing for Paul to tell us this, it’s a whole different thing for us to know, I used the word know there because I think many times we differentiate between merely believing something is true in our head, and knowing it’s true in our head and heart.
It was Paul’s personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ that developed his confidence in the power of the Gospel. This is why I really think that if we as Christians focused more on developing our one-on-one, i.e., personal/intimate, relationship with God, and less on seeking merely a head knowledge rather than both head and heart knowledge, we would naturally grow in confidence in sharing the Gospel.
If we really knew that the world is full of people who are drowning in their sins and are in danger of ending up in hell for eternity; if we really believed what the Bible tells us, namely, that in each Christian is the Hope of the world; that we carry inside of us, what those who are currently on their way to hell need— we would share it. How many of us, if we were walking on a dock along the water where we had just been rescued from drowning, and were still carrying the life preserver, if we happened onto someone else who was drowning, would not throw them the life preserver? Even if we weren’t technically lifeguards? And if the person who was clearly drowning started arguing with us trying to tell us they were fine, wouldn’t we try and convince them that they need to grab the life preserver? (Enter apologetics done with gentleness and respect, i.e. , the providing of good reasons for thinking that the hope that you have isn’t mere delusion)
You don’t need to be an expert scientist and understand how an air inflated piece of plastic can hold you afloat, you just need to grab it and experience that it does. The same truth applies when it comes to throwing that piece of inflated plastic to someone who is drowning, you may not be able to explain how it held you up, but you can still throw it and tell the person it saved you earlier, which is how you know it can save them.
This is how I work through my fears as a Christian. Rather than spending a lot of wasted time trying to make sure I have all my “spiritualism” boxes checked, I focus on making sure that my relationship with Jesus is truly alive. Just like an apple tree that is alive naturally bears fruit, so does a relationship with Jesus which is alive. It’s our experiences with Jesus Christ that will give us genuine confidence in every other aspect of our lives. As we experience the truth of his Word in our lives, we will grow confident in sharing it, and hungry to learn it.
So I would encourage anyone reading this, if you haven’t already, make the commitment today that you will not fake your relationship with Jesus Christ anymore. Instead, set out to pursue a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ, by actively seeking truth from the Bible and implementing it into your daily life. This will lead you into deeper experiences with God, which will increase your heart and head knowledge, which in turn will give you confidence to share your experience with others who need it too!