We long to be accepted.
We even tend to say or do things outside of our normal character in order to receive acceptance from others.
Let’s face it. We like to be liked.
Sometimes, our desire to be liked or accepted by others becomes a barrier in our witnessing. It is true — a relationship built on trust is paramount to sharing Christ. But, at what point do we decide to play it safe to preserve our relationship rather than taking a risk to share Christ?
Why is sharing our faith so uncomfortable?
What are the risks with sharing our faith with others?
The fear of rejection weighs heavily on the minds of believers when thinking about sharing the gospel. Relationships are too important. Ridicule from others is another barrier that prohibits us from taking advantage of opportunities.
The desire for acceptance and approval from others tends to overpower our desire to win people for Christ.
How can we overcome these real fears?
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
We wouldn’t think twice of saving a close friend from physical injury or painful words. We lovingly correct and counsel a friend who is on the verge of making a bad choice in their life.
What about eternity? Why do we have a hard time developing a sense of urgency when a friend’s eternal welfare is at stake?
When these questions come to mind, I think of Christ.
It’s one thing to save my life from a speeding bus. It’s quite another to save my soul from eternal torment.
It was His sacrifice — His substitution — What he already won for me on the cross.
His life and death is a true model of sacrifice, but we receive something far better than an example.
By faith, we receive His acceptance. By trusting in His promises, we receive His approval.
Because of who I am in Christ, I can truly enjoy genuine freedom —
— including the freedom of sharing the love of Christ with others.
— including overcoming rejection or ridicule on behalf of Christ.
Because of who I am in Christ, I can truly enjoy genuine peace of being forgiven.
— In that status of forgiveness, I am no longer burdened by guilt.
— What flows out of my heart is a spirit of thanksgiving.
— What comes from my mouth is what Christ has already done for me.
This spirit is a reflection of Christ living in me.
This love is what the world needs to hear and view.
By trusting the promises of Christ, by believing that His Spirit dwells in us, the burden of carrying out God’s commission to proclaim truth no longer becomes a burden.
I don’t feel the pressure of having to bring up Christ in every conversation, nor feel guilty about it if I don’t. Instead, I place the burden on God.
I receive contentment in knowing that He is working through me to produce whatever results He pleases. I place that burden on God because that’s His business.
I trust that God provides the right opportunity, at just the right time, and through prayer and preparation, enables me to share the truth. I place the burden of timing and opportunity on Him.
When the gospel message is presented by a Spirit-filled messenger — not by a guilt-ridden bumbler — the love and trust behind the message is what’s heard loud and clear.