When Christ commissions those who trust in Him to go and share the message of salvation, the world can appear as mountain peaks that are too insurmountable to climb.
Our good intentions to serve God and be evangelists can seem like a series of lop-sided defeats, especially when we don’t do any witnessing at all.
Where can victory come from to conquer the mountains of fear, inhibitions, and busyness? How do I overcome feeling like a loser when it comes to evangelism?
Sometimes sports give the best analogies on how to receive victory and handle defeat.
The University of Kansas has a historic and successful college basketball program that competes every season for a national championship. The same cannot be said for its football program. They are as diverse as sisters — where one is beautiful, popular, and talented at everything and the other is overlooked, unpopular, and rarely a winner.
I recently read an article about the 2015 Kansas football team on the ESPN website. [“Kansas Jayhawks uphill rebuilding efforts”] They lost every game this season. Again. The article featured a first-year head football coach and how he was handling a year full of humiliating, lop-sided defeats. His response caught my attention. The coach told the reporter that he was focusing on three aspects on how to move the mountains of defeat and build a competitive, victorious football team. These three aspects included:
#1 Strive to be a little bit better every day.
#2 Never give up – no matter what.
#3 Have fun.
I believe these three thoughts could be applied on how to build a winning team of victorious Christians who confidently and joyfully share the gospel with others… instead of feeling like a loser.
#1 Get a little bit better every day.
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15)
The voice we most often listen to throughout the day is the one in our head. And it usually says some unpleasant things about ourselves.
Left unchallenged by the promises of God’s Word, our souls can suffer humiliating and debilitating losses that mount up with guilt and remorse.
These negative thoughts can affect our witnessing – and it’s not just about feeling like a loser, but choosing never to enter the game and sharing God’s Word with others.
The Bible tells us to be prepared to give an answer for the hope that we have in Christ. In that there can be a delicate balance. We can be under-prepared and overwhelmed with the thought of never feeling ready. Or, we can feel over-prepared and over-confident. Then, smugness cultivates an over-powering desire to debate and win the argument rather than to love and win the soul — to convince rather than to serve.
In Christ, we can get a little bit better every day to be God’s messenger.
Sharing Christ is not just about memorizing Bible verses or utilizing tactics to get into a discussion. It encompasses much more. It is like following a recipe that God has pinned for us to see. It includes the ingredient of love mixed with knowledge, sincerity stirred in with truth, and compassion blended in with reason. Mixed together and baked thoroughly, they provide a tantalizing dish that engages people with the aroma of Christ. (2 Cor. 2:15) The victory comes when we step out of our comfort zones and share what Christ has already done for us to listening ears.
People are often surprised when they step out of their comfort zones. They discover that people are appreciative. All of the negative consequences conjured up in our sinful mind — that keeps us tongue-tied when God gives us opportunities to share God’s Word – end up rarely happening. By speaking the truth in love, we discover that God usually prepares souls in advance for that moment. And all we did was follow his recipe.
When we trust God’s promise that we are already acceptable and worthy in His sight, we can joyfully and confidently take those small steps out of our comfort zone each day by preparing ourselves for an answer in more ways than one.
More thoughts on sharing the gospel.. (part two)