Have you ever been in a conversation with some-one and the topic of religion or faith comes up? Maybe you’re sitting on a bus and a stranger is talking to you and says something like, “I’m just not all that sure about this whole God thing.” Or maybe a family member at Thanksgiving starts asking questions about why you are so involved in church and wondering why it is so important to you. Or have you ever been in a crowded area and overheard the person next to you say something about how they just don’t seem to understand those Christians?
For many, this can be a really intimidating topic of conversation. If you haven’t been in any of those scenarios laid out, what was your reaction like picturing yourself in any of those circumstances? Were you nervous? Uncertain? Scared? Hesitant?
For many of us, the topic of sharing our faith can be one that can be pretty intimidating. We can create our own barriers and justifying reasons for why we feel this way to varying degrees. We can think of some seemingly really good reasons to avoid doing it altogether. We can think, “Well, I don’t want to say the wrong thing,” or “I’m sure someone else will help them with that question,” or “I don’t have the time to get into this with them,” or “I don’t want to start an argument.” We can use all these rationales and more to create this sense that talking faith and religion in society is somehow taboo and yet the questions are there, the uncertainties are valid, they are out there in the open seeking an answer.
Each and every believer can be tempted, at times, to see witnessing or sharing our faith as fitting into a How-To Manual. That there is a one-stop, fool-proof way to share the Gospel and it takes a certain level of knowledge, training, age, ability, or experience to make sure it’s done correctly.
As we look this week at what it looks like to share our faith, God wants to set us free from all of these misconceptions. He wants to invite us to see sharing what we believe with others as an exciting part of being His child. He invites us to show and share the love that He has for us so that others might experience His love too. He gives us opportunities to do more that talk about it, but to live it. Sharing one’s faith goes way beyond just saying the right thing, but it is also modeling what you believe by living. It is in this that others will see the God who is longing for relationship with them too.
Consider the words of the Apostle John in 1 John 3:18 where he writes: “Dear children, let us not [only] love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” God invites each of us to view sharing our faith not as something to fear, but an experience to enjoy as He gives us these opportunities to talk about Him and the love that He has for each person. By simply living, you and I can be walking, talking billboards for the Savior. So, let us not just use words and logic, but let’s love others and share life with those who need to experience the saving power of the Gospel. And the best part about living this out is that we don’t do it alone. We have the support of other believers and we ultimately have the Holy Spirit prompting us and filling us with what is needed for each moment and for each encounter. May you find encouragement in living for the King!
Pastor Ben Bigaouette