A new perspective on sharing my faith

I loathe being told to share my faith.

I mean, it’s something that we are called directly to do.  Jesus says in Matthew 28:16 to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”  We’re encouraged to share our faith, to spread the good news, to be lights in the darkness of the world.

But in Christian circles, there’s a lot of guilting that goes on when it comes to evangelism.  So often, I come from those talks feeling like, by not sharing my faith, I’m doing something wrong.  And then I feel guilty.  I feel like I should share my faith out of obligation and duty, not because I want to.  So often, evangelism makes me extremely uncomfortable.  In order to do it, I feel like I must have all the answers, like I have to start going up to my classmates, shoving Bibles in their faces, and taking them through the Romans Road.  It makes me uncomfortable and inadequate. I feel pressured and that, if I don’t present the message well enough, I’ll be a failure.  Sharing faith in these ways sounds just seems unpleasant.  I don’t want to do it.  But then I feel guilty for not wanting to do something God clearly asks of us.

The thing is, I genuinely want to share my faith.  I want to tell people about the joy, the love, the security I have in Christ.  But I don’t want to demean others and I’m afraid of being seen as the Bible-shoving stereotype.

At IVCF last night, an old classmate came and talked about the dreaded topic.  What she said really hit home.

To summarize her message, she talked about talking about faith the same way we talk about things excited about.  We don’t have to have a perfect message.  The outcome of sharing our faith does not depend on us.  We don’t have to worry about how we are received, because God is bigger than that.  He can handle it.  Instead of preaching to people, we should talk about Jesus as if He’s a real person.  We shouldn’t spew off boring facts as if he’s merely a figure in a book.  Instead, we need to be open and honest about what He’s like, what He says, what He does, and what it’s like to hang out with Him.

Boldness is key, but not to belittle.  Not to condescend.  Not to preach.  We need to be bold in sharing our excitement about who He is and what He is doing in our lives.  Because if we’re excited, then it will spread to the people around us.

The other thing that is key is trust.  We need to trust that God is bigger than us.  He’s bigger than us, bigger than our circumstances, bigger than our voices.  We don’t have to defend Him.  He can defend Himself.  He knows what He is doing.

I’m not very good at sharing my faith.  I really struggle with this.  As previously stated, I’ve always felt this sense of obligation, that I should be doing more, saying more, preaching more–and this has always made me REALLY uncomfortable.  But all this time, I’ve been thinking about it the wrong way.  I don’t have to go out and do anything.  I just have to be me.  I simply have to live and not restrict my relationship with God to my personal life.  I have to let the love I have for my savior, my best friend, my beloved show.  I have to be open about Him–open about what He’s doing and willing to tell people about my excitement.

It’s encouraging to know that I don’t need to have it all together.  More than anything, though, it’s wonderful to walk out of a faith-sharing talk without feeling guilty.  For the first time ever, I actually feel good about being open about my faith.  Which is incredibly freeing.

 

2 thoughts on “A new perspective on sharing my faith

  1. Katie February 19, 2015 / 1:27 pm

    Evangelism is something I had never heard talked about in church before coming to college. Sure, my church had “bring a friend to church” Sunday, but the message of actively trying to spread God’s message to those around me is never something I was exposed to. So when I learned that the campus ministry that I participate in is very interested in evangelism — specifically initiative evangelism — I was taken aback. This has really been a subject that I have struggled with for many different reasons as I’ve begun to desire a deeper relationship with Christ and realized that evangelism is a part of that. You are exactly right — struggling with this topic also brings about a lot of guilt. It is clearly stated that we need to share the gospel in the Bible, yet it can be such a difficult thing to be comfortable with in a culture that is so about keeping faith separated from our everyday and public life.

    I think this new perspective you have on sharing your faith is something that I too have been trying to get a better grasp on as well. I’ve started realizing lately that sharing my faith doesn’t have to be walking up to someone on the street and asking them if they know Jesus; it can just be talking about the fact that I went to Ash Wednesday service and had an incredible experience, it can be me talking about the new things I’m learning as I read the Bible or my attempted growth in prayer with my friends and classmates, and it can just be me being me. I’m learning that as a Christian, not sharing my faith in casual ways is basically synonymous with hiding a huge part of my identity.

    Great post Amelia! I loved it from start to finish.

    • Amelia February 19, 2015 / 11:16 pm

      Thanks so much, Katie, for the wonderful and insightful comment! It’s so good to know I’m not the only one who is learning a lot of these things. It’s so good to know that all we have to do is be ourselves and let God do the rest. 🙂

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