Getting Personal With Christianity 3
Talking about religion can be hard for Christians in today's climate of personalized Gods. It seems as though each person is suppose to shut-up about anything to do with Christ but talk about every other god!
It almost seems as if our society has become anti-Christ! Of course society is anti-Christ--anti-Jesus specifically! The name of the Savior is taboo to speak in public unless someone is blaspheming it in some way!
One of the mandates of Christianity, nevertheless, is to spread the Good News despite the "Babylonian" climate in which we find ourselves. Christians are suppose to warn all people of the judgement of God so that those who heed will not suffer if they will repent.
This article is about ways to overcome fear of sharing what we believe and fulfilling our Christian duty, while being honest about our fears of so doing. Oh, yeah; it is from my personal perspective of course.
He Is Not One Of Us!
Sharing with other people about what I believe was not easy for me because I was and am afraid of rejection. Most of my friends share my belief system; however, my friends and loved ones who do not are a particular problem for me to share such things and I suppose many others feel like me.
I cherish the relationship with my love ones and friends--family so much that I fear it will be compromised if I open my mouth to them about the joys that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings to my life. I have tried everything I can think of, which tended to be wrong, to overcome this fear.
Most of what I tried forced myself out of my comfort zone, which is good to do on occasion but not in perpetual iteration! It should not be so hard to share about Christ but it is. It is almost as if there is a notion that if I were to share I would be casting my precious jewels before people who cannot see the value. Does that sound familiar?
The other side of that coin is that I am selfish and do not want my family (includes friends) to have what I have and feel what I feel about God. I know that is not true; or is it? Do I subconsciously want to horde all the blessings to myself? Do I think I am better than the others because my beliefs make me stand apart from the others and I want that attention?
It is really important for me to answer those questions honestly so that I can know how to approach God for help in changing if I find my answers unacceptable. Maybe there are Christians out there who have thought of these things?
Sharing the Gospel takes time and energy that many Christians just want to expend doing something else, but share it we should. Mitigating circumstances from the past may cause us pause in sharing the gospel like bad experiences.
The Bad Experience
Case in point: In 1992 I was a new Christian alive in the Gospel of Christ. I could not be conquered because my joy was new and completely confident in what I believed to be true. Sadly, prior to my joy in Christ I experienced encounters with some evil spirits that I was able to overcome through my faith in Him. Yeah, I know that read strangely and it is strange, believe me!
Now, it is not recommended that Christians share these negative experiences with those who are new to Christian life, but I did. I traveled with some missionaries to visit and discuss the gospel in a young family's home.
The father asked us if the devil and demons are real. I chimed in with my experiences which spooked the man severely. This man had so taken to my shared experiences and so poignantly affected by them that he had nightmares about it all that night.
Needless to say, though I will say, he in definite terms wanted nothing to do with us anymore. Certainly if I had shared the good that God has provided for me rather than the bad the devil provided things may have gone differently.
The time will come when the bad experience will be appropriate to share, but a first meeting is not one of them. That guy thought I was a freak! I did not fit in to what he expected a Christian should be. Most of us if not all of us can be labeled something, but the majority of people do not want to stand out.
The missionaries told me later that the man did not want me in particular to speak to his family again because of my detailed focus on the dark side of life. I lost my confidence a little, but I learned the lesson I needed to learn: a simple yes to his question would have sufficed!
Sometimes an earnest and thoughtful conversation on the part of the sharer is not received with the same token with which it was intended. This can lead to finicky sharing behavior when it comes to beliefs. As I mentioned before we do not want to scare people away!
Picture this: You have just shared with your friend or co-worker about the Christian concept of Resurrection and the conversation about that ONE concept went well. The person you shared your belief with comments and ask questions and there is a nice dialogue going on. There is a peaceful spirit and goodwill in the exchange of and respect for ideology. You are vibing!
A fellow Christian overhears the conversation and decides to chime in and talk about, I don't know, demons!
Goodwill!? Gone. Peaceful feelings? Cold.
A Christian who butts into the conversation can cause fear of sharing religious feelings with others because that OTHER sharer my hijack the conversation and destroy the budding connection with the potential learner. Not to mention, but of course, I will, the pearls of faith the Christian who originally shared will seem as if they were disregarded.
The third party may not have intended to destroy the harmony and dialogue of the conversation, but it can happen and will happen if it has not already happened--multiple times too-- to all of us in the course of our daily walk with Christ.
The potential learner will then get to look at us with a strange expression and raised an eyebrow. We cannot dismiss our Christian sibling without breaking a few of God's commandments and the situation becomes awkward.
If it is not evident in my writing that I am really fixated on remembering my first experience sharing the gospel, I will admit it here. I am fixated on my experience of sharing the gospel for the first time, specifically not letting it happen again--the foot in my mouth part that is! It happens
What say you?
Did You Know Christians are Supposed to Share the Gospel with Others?
© 2014 Rodric Anthony Johnson