Do you find it uncomfortable to talk about your faith? Are you uncertain of how to approach people or tell them about Jesus? Or maybe you have the opposite problem and you’re able to share but it doesn’t always go well. It’s something many of us struggle with, but fortunately, God has a plan.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. -1 Peter 3:15
Life on Mission teaches the process of how to share our faith. It explores the concept of witnessing, as opposed to being the lawyer, police, judge, or jury. This provides valuable insight into a Christlike (and non-weird) process for sharing what God has done in our life. It’s important to balance being both the salt AND the light.
And yet, many of us still struggle to feel prepared at times. We know what to do but not always how to do it.
When I first returned to church, I remember thinking that I would not be the one to witness, that there was NO way God called ME to do that work. I was too this and that and not enough (fill in the blank). However, a recent experience has changed my mind and my heart.
Recently, some friends of mine and I went on a girls’ trip. Because we were in Life on Mission and I was being prayerful for opportunities, I mentioned to one of my friends (also a believer) that we should do a devotional with the group one morning. Not everyone was a churchgoer or believer on the trip so I felt it would be a great way to try and witness. We invited everyone without pressure. Fortunately, our friends chose to attend (AKA- God wanted this to happen!).
Before the trip, we picked some scripture from Hebrews and my friend wrote the devotional. After completing the devotional, the group discussed how it applied to life today, particularly friendships. By the end, my friends who do not understand our faith, began to ask questions. They were hard questions; questions without easy answers. They expressed their frustrations and beliefs about organized religion. They were honest.
In my past, I would have either agreed with them and joined in or felt defensive and challenged. But now, having the relationship with God that I do, I found myself excited- a sure sign the Holy Spirit was at work!
Going in, I had prayed not only for an opportunity but discernment. As recent as that morning and right before the devotional, I prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me words. So in the face of questions that should have been difficult, I saw their worldly understanding as a lack of knowing Christ. I found myself acknowledging with a genuine heart their concerns. I used it as an opportunity to explain things that the world does not tell us about what it is to be religious, to be a Christian, and most importantly, to have a relationship with God.
While I’d love to say that all of my friends are now regularly attending church, we know that is not realistic. But it’s also not the goal. The goal was to witness and give God space to plant seeds.
I encourage you to pray for opportunity and to pray for the Holy Spirit to guide your words and your heart in these difficult conversations that you’re praying come up. I encourage you to have those conversations when you can, even if you’re uncomfortable. Be vulnerable and OK with saying “I don’t know.” Remember that they won’t be your words, because if you’re prayerful, the Holy Spirit will most certainly speak through you. Pray for discernment and let God work.