“For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matthew 10:20)
I remember being at a family party when I first became a Christian and getting into a conversation with one of my cousins. Suddenly our conversation took a rapid turn and he started talking about Heaven and what he thinks about how you get in. As the conversation went on all eyes were on us and he finally said to me “Well Ron, I believe as long as the good outweighs the bad, then I’m okay.” Seconds felt like hours. I opened up my mouth in front of all my family and… I caught spiritual laryngitis, and nothing came out.
Last week I posed the question: if the gospel message is relevant, inclusive, simple, and empowered, why do I have such a hard time sharing my faith? Trust me, I get it, even as a seasoned preacher. Sometimes when the moment comes the palms get sweaty, the mind starts racing and you get tongue tied.
In my experience I’ve seen 3 major “What If” questions hold people up from sharing their faith:
What if it damages our relationship?
We’re relational people. God built us this way. And we can easily fear that conversations about faith and Jesus will become awkward and drive a wedge in our relationships. But in response to that hesitation I would ask you this question: if you can’t share who you really are, your heart’s desire and most important thing in your life with that loved one, is that relationship really as strong as you think it is? If yes, then you shouldn’t need to worry about it.
What if they ask a question and I don’t know the answer?
Two words: that’s okay :). It’s okay to not know all the answers and say “You know what? I don’t know; that’s a great question and I’m going to look into that.” But here’s some confidence for both you and the one with whom you’re sharing your faith: the Bible has satisfied some of the greatest thinkers in human history. There’s not a question that you or your friend could ask that hasn’t been thought of, written about, and a viable answer given. And over all this is Matthew 10:20: “For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
What if the person rejects me or thinks differently of me because of this gospel message?
This is a big one, and I get it. I’ve had close friends drop me because I shared my faith with them. But here’s what Jesus says, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). Relationships are important. But the most important one is your relationship with Jesus and your Heavenly Father.
Remember, it isn’t about you and your word. It’s about God and His Word. And His gospel message is empowered.