Have you ever asked yourself what is so difficult about being a witness for Christ? While I cannot answer for you, I can better answer for me. I have experienced hesitating and then losing an opportunity to be a witness. Sharing that experience may help you when you are reluctant to share your faith.
Recently I had a God Sighting that was very unusual for me. I wrote that down as “A Nightmare God Sighting,” which was distributed as an e-blast and blog.. I shared that God Sighting with great reluctance, and the process that I went through may be similar to what you have experienced. You see, the God Sighting was a dream, like a scene from Revelation; fantastical, scary and full of symbolism. It made sense to me, and, since it was my experience, I knew that it was real.
However, when it came to sharing my nightmare God sighting, I was concerned about what other people would think of me. Would they think that I just made it up? Was I just plumping up my own ego? Was I boasting? Would people think I was crazy for having such a bizarre dream? Or drunk or on drugs? Why put myself out there for people to criticize? Those are concerns about the “me” part of the equation that wanted me to just keep my experience to myself and to not share.
However, I did share my experience as a God Sighting, because my perspective changed. It changed from “me” to “we.” The focus of my concern had changed from how would my sharing would affect me to how my sharing could affect all of us, the “we.” In other words, the benefits to other people could outweigh the cost to me. That is more in line with Jesus’ commandment for us to “love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31)” and “you will be a witness to all people of what you have seen and heard (Acts 22:15).”
When I have more concern for other people, I have less concern for myself. Then I am more at ease sharing my experience of how God is working in my life with other people. That experience may be as personal as my recent nightmare, what I recently did at church, or as seemingly inconsequential as commenting on a cross that someone is wearing on a necklace. The latter has initiated some interesting conversations about faith in the work place. I have also had some interesting conversations with restaurant wait staff when I ask, “Before we eat, we pray. Would it be OK to include you in our prayer?” The most recent was a young woman who was to travel to Russia in two days, but her visa had yet to be approved due to international tensions. She was very thankful for our prayer of support.
Being a witness for Christ takes most of us out of our comfort zone and that makes us hesitant to share our faith. However, it is easier when we shift our concern from our self to our neighbor and focus on the healing that comes from that sharing. Being a witness for Christ is one thing that we can do to bring peace and healing to a world that needs what our faith has to offer.
Silence is the enemy of truth, and our truth is Jesus Christ. Pass it on.
Submitted by Paul Stratton