Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scared to Share

First, watch this video from comedian/magician/atheist Penn Jillette:



You may have seen this video before. I love this video.

And I hate this video.

I love this video because he has such a good attitude and he's so right. And I hate this video because he has such a good attitude and he's so right.

I've been afraid to talk to people about Christ because it's awkward. I have atheist friends who read this blog, and, for some of them, this is the closest they've come to me talking to them about Christ.

Big up to my atheists! Holla!

*ahem*

Clearly, the issue of eternal life is a big one. We worry about our friends and family and what will happen to them if we don't tell them—and what will happen to our relationships with them if we do tell them.

To soften the blow when it comes to talking to others about Christ, here are some notes for my nonbelievers:

  1. We don't get anything if/when you become a Christian. There's not a "You Converted Someone!" certificate, and we don't get twenty jewels in our heavenly crown or whatever. We're not sharing our faith because of any benefit we get. Actually, the risk to us far outweighs the benefit, for the most part. We don't want to alienate you or hurt you. That's lousy. So when a Christian tells you about God and eternal life and Jesus and everything, it's because we care about you. For reals. 
  2. Besides, if we're going to bother to believe something, wouldn't you have more respect for us if we believed it outright and lived it fully? That's how you hold beliefs, right? Part of believing Christianity in full is to talk to other people about it. So if a Christian talks to you about faith, don't be mad. If anything, be flattered that they care enough about you to risk a period of awkwardness, and be glad they're as devoted to their beliefs as you are to yours. Wishy-washy people are lousy.
  3. Most importantly, if you want to reject God, reject God. Don't reject the person telling you about God. Two different things. 


And a note to the believers: When you're with someone you love who isn't a believer, picture that truck coming at them. You don't know how much time you have left—or how much time they have left—to share your faith with them. Odds are they won't punch you in the face or anything. They may smile awkwardly and give you a weird look. They could tell you they're not interested, but at least you know you tried. Or they may want to engage you in an actual discussion about faith, during which you don't get defensive or belligerent. So you may want to practice not being defensive or belligerent. You know, in case that's something you do. And don't be afraid to say the wrong thing. God's got it under control. He's planting seeds and moving in ways you can't even understand. Nothing is more important to him than having all of his creations back in his arms. And you can't mess that up, either.

Above all, we need to not be afraid to have discussions about faith. Christianity holds its own—God has made sure of that. There's historical and archaeological proof that the things in the Bible are true. You don't have to defend Christianity or the Bible. You just have to talk to someone about it—share your personal experiences and give them the basic tools they need to find their way to God.

For the record, I'm not great at this. In fact, I'm terrified of it. I kind of hope posting about it will either give me more confidence about sharing my faith or more fear about what will happen to my friends and family if I don't share my faith.

Have you shared your faith with a loved one? How'd you do it? And how'd it go?

8 comments:

  1. I think it is so much harder to share your faith with a loved one than a stranger - loved ones often "remember you when" and my past can be hard to explain. Sometimes all I can say is that I am a different person now and leave it at that. Then I justify not sharing my faith by thinking that how I try to live my life is testimony enough - not good. Never thought about the idea of a truck coming at my non-believer loved ones, hard to swallow, need to chew on that one a little longer and change my ways.

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  2. Rachel, thank you for this! I think you did GREAT! :) The best part is through your words, God spoke to me. I've heard Him loud and clear and now I'm not so scared to share His love with my non-believer loved ones.

    Blessings to you,
    Rosann
    http://www.christiansupermom.com/

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  3. This is something I need to work on too. I know that I have had many opportunities, and I hope get braver, because it's going to be mighty embarrassing when God shows me all the opportunities I missed. Sometimes I feel like I am not close enough to God to bring others to Him. I need to work on that. :'(

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  4. It's funny (not ha.ha.) but the only person I don't talk about my faith with is my sister. I still feel after all these years that she would simply dismiss my faith as if it were a fad that I was enjoying and that would really hurt.

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  5. I talk about my faith like I talk about my kids. It's a fundamental part of my life. So it comes up whether I mean it to or not. However, I don't believe that Jesus is the only way to God. Nor do I believe in Hell. So I don't need to save souls. Although I think having a relationship with God is the best thing to ever happen to me and I hope that for others. I'm working on a post about raising my kids with faith but being okay if they turn out to be atheists. I think.

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  6. Girl, you've had some great posts lately, but this one is Best. Ever. I'm totally sharing this WHEREVER I CAN. :)

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  7. When it comes to sharing my faith, I find one thing to be consistently true; People don't care how much I know until they know how much I care. If I try to "tell" someone about my faith I usually get shunned, but if I ask someone about their faith and then listen without judgement to whatever they say, even if what they say is ridiculous, it never fails that they will then ask me about my faith and then I share with them the gospel of Christ.

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  8. Some plant,some water, God gives the increase.

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