Bringing up your faith in everyday conversation
Part 1: Why does sharing the gospel seem so hard?
“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” —Mark 16:15
As Christians, one of our duties is to spread God’s word and shine the light of Jesus Christ. Not just to our friends and family, but everyone!
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I gathered every Christian into a big room and said, “Raise your hand if you make it a priority to try to share the gospel with at least one of the people you come across each day.”
How many hands do you think would go up? I bet a good 98% of us would leave our hands down (including me!). With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the reasons we don’t share and what to remember when trying to over come them. And then tomorrow, we'll dig deeper into some practical ideas for sharing the gospel.
Three reasons we find gospel coversations hard
I think there's a range of reasons, including:
- We don’t know how to ... or we feel awkward bringing it up
- We’re afraid to cause controversy and be persecuted for our beliefs
- We don’t feel biblically knowledgeable ... or we feel too young
Let's take a look at each one individually.
We don’t know how to … or we feel awkward bringing it up
In our culture, it’s normal for us to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves. That’s why we feel so awkward and uncomfortable when bringing up our faith with strangers. But the reality is, “uncomfortable” is exactly how we should expect to feel! You will have to sacrifice your comfort to share God’s word.
Many of us don’t mind sharing the gospel with our friends, and that’s great. We should be sharing it with our friends, but we also have to reach out to all people, communities and nations too.
A study from 2013 showed that only 33% of the world are Christians. That means at least 67% of the world’s salvation is on the line. If that 67% of the world died today, they’d be suffering in hell for all eternity. Let that sink in.
“Jesus answered,” I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” —John 14:6
If you found the cure for cancer would you only share it with your friends?
We’re afraid to cause controversy and be persecuted for our beliefs
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted...” —2 Timothy 3:12
If you aren’t being persecuted—or at least feeling some pressure—it’s worth thinking about why. Are you avoiding some of the ‘hard stuff’ of following Jesus?
This ties into what I mentioned about being uncomfortable and awkward. When sharing the gospel, there will be times when people will make you feel uncomfortable to the point of persecution.
“Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.” —1 John 3:13
There are so many people who hate Christians because our beliefs aren’t cool or liberal. This is exactly why the Bible also tells us not to love the world (John 2:15-17). Because if we love the world, how can we stand against it and share the good news?
When you’re discussing faith with a non-believer and they start persecuting for what you believe, stand your ground because you care about his/her salvation.
Remember to respect their beliefs while still standing by and sharing yours. Keep your temper in check. It’s hard to not get angry when someone is condemning your beliefs, but becoming angry and lashing out at them will have the opposite effect and defeat the purpose of sharing your faith. Stay calm, share your faith with grace, and they will most likely have more respect for you.
Though it sucks to be persecuted, remember Jesus sacrificed his life for our salvation, so we can at least power through and sacrifice our feelings for him.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” —Matthew 5:10
We don’t feel biblically knowledgeable … or we feel too young
“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” —1 Timothy 4:12
Jesus was found sharing God’s word at the young age of 12.
“After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.” —Luke 2:46-47
Of course, Jesus was all knowing! You’re not expected to share the gospel with the same amount of knowledge he had, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share at all.
Some people feel like they want to wait until they’re older or have enough biblical knowledge before they start sharing. But what is the ripe age? And how much knowledge is enough?
If you don’t take a stand and start now, it’s possible you will never do it. Utilize whatever knowledge you have to teach them and help them grow. You don’t even have to know much more than them to lead them.
Think of it like this. If I’m leading a group of people through a maze, I only want to be a couple steps ahead of them so they can follow me. If I’m 50 feet ahead of them, they’ll get lost in the maze. If your knowledge is ahead, but still close enough to theirs, it will help you connect with them and grow with them.
Remember that there will always be someone who can learn from you. And with that said, there will always be someone you can learn from too. Even the greatest leaders need someone to follow, so find the leaders in your own life. And don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know all the answers. If someone asks you a question you are unsure about, tell them you will have a look for the answer and get back to them. It’s the perfect opportunity to set up another time to chat further.
Come back tomorrow for more ideas on how to share your faith with others!