We’re discussing the most common reasons we, as Christians, don’t share our faith more. Be sure to read “Part 1” to get the background info. Without further ado, let us continue.
#3: We’ve never been successful when we’ve tried to share truth with someone.
Ok, let’s suppose you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone and tried to start a spiritual discussion with someone, only to be either ridiculed, ignored, or felt a number of other awkward situations with a coworker or family member. Now, you’re discouraged and say to yourself, “I won’t be doing THAT again!” We must remember that we’re not called to success, but faithfulness. Also, sometimes success cannot be measured in the moment that you’re sharing with someone.
A friend once told me something simple yet profound recently. They said, “sometimes, simply the way you handle a situation witnesses to others.” You’re stressed, and you leaned on “the peace that passes understanding” to deal with something that naturally would make you want to scream! Or, you chose to “turn the other cheek” when every fiber within you wanted to lash out at someone who’s wronged you…and rightfully so.
However, we cannot rely solely on “friendship evangelism” to fulfill our calling. We’re called to be intentional about sharing our faith. We can’t obey Jesus’ call in Matt 28:19, 20 by simply being friends with people and living a life that is consistent with our moral values. We must speak the Word as well as live the Word. We plant the seeds of truth with our words and actions, and the Holy Spirit waters and fertilizes the seeds.
We must be intentional about our words to others. Be encouraging to others, but frame everything by the Word of God. Let our counsel to others be Biblical, always, rather than opinion. Let the Holy Spirit “worry” about the success. Even if someone initially rejects the truth you’ve told them, the Holy Spirit can later lead them back to something you said.
In some ways, witnessing is a skill. It’s something that you get better at with practice. You start to learn how people react to certain topics and you learn how the Bible intersects with our daily lives, making it easier to share your faith. You find out what works and what doesn’t. And you learn what questions to ask people to get them thinking.
#4: We’re just too busy.
We’re all busy. Let’s face it-that’s the life we live. It’s a good reason why many of us don’t share our faith. But it’s also a good reason why many of our friends, family, and neighbors haven’t heard about “the hope that we have.” As we discussed above, witnessing is not just about others; it’s about us.
Witnessing keeps our flame alive. This concept was behind why Jesus is called the “light of the world,” the church is “a city set on a hill,” and in the sanctuary of Israel, there stood a 7-branch candlestick that always stayed lit. When we stay in contact with the infinite Light, we stay lit.
Witnessing provides strength for living the Christian life. When we share our faith, even in a small way, we’re accomplishing many things. We become a place for others to turn for answers. We become accountable for our outward behaviors, because now people watch to see if we’re living consistently. When we know others depend on us, we’re encouraged to be a source of strength for them.
Witnessing doesn’t have to take all the time in the world. Here are 10 ideas for witnessing that you can do during a hectic schedule.
- Live Biblically. This means studying your Bible and learning what it means to follow Jesus rather than the world. Study how Jesus witnessed to others. “Re-convince” yourself of all the beautiful truths that once made you so excited about God and His Word.
- Start a blog with spiritual goals in mind.
- Offer spiritual insights to current events or discussions on social media. Even a quick Biblical answer to someone’s question or comment on some event can be an effective tool at reaching out to people.
- Tell a friend how God has answered a prayer.
- Study one prophecy, like Daniel 2, and tell another Christian what you learned. (This “practice session” builds confidence for telling others later who aren’t familiar.)
- Start a Bible study at your church to strengthen those within.
- Learn some of the irrefutable scientific evidences for either creation or the flood, so you can discuss with coworkers who are more intellectually-minded.
- Listen to sermons, workshops, and lectures on spiritual topics so that the Word of God becomes part of your vocabulary and thinking process.
- Have a testimony. Telling a story about how God has worked in your life is extremely effective. People can argue with ideas, but they can’t argue with your experience. Even if it’s just a little piece of your testimony you can share, people identify with others who are real with them.
- Go on a short-term mission trip. This does wonders for your spiritual life! Helping others hear the Word of God for the first time is a rewarding experience like no other. Some organizations have everything you need already in place- no worries about the details. You’ll come home on fire for spreading the Word of God!
Faithful, not successful, friends!