Why do we fail so miserably in sharing our faith?
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Many of us are familiar with “show and tell” from our younger years. We would bring something to school that we would show to our classmates and then tell them about it and why we brought it. There’s a lot we can learn from this as we attempt to share our faith with others, especially those we interact with on a fairly regular basis.
For most people who call themselves a “Christian,” the process of sharing seldom, if ever, takes place. This sad fact always puzzled me, but that’s another issue. The issue is how should those who want to share their faith go about doing so? Our temptation is to be looking for opportunities to share Christ with these people. It seems like a noble pursuit, but it seldom works out well. There’s a good reason for our failures and it has to do with “show and tell.” Some of us have a burning desire to tell people about Jesus and what He has done for us. We want to share what we’ve learned and how our life has been changed. We want to give away what we have received.
AS I SEE IT
The problem is that most people couldn’t care less about what has happened to us or what God has done in our lives. The last thing they want to hear is a speech about God, their sinfulness, and hell. More and more people have no biblical knowledge and have no opinion whatsoever about heaven or hell.
Add to this the fact that according to studies, the average person hears about ten discouraging or deflating things to every encouraging and uplifting word directed their way every day. Most people are weighed down by life’s demands, are torn in a dozen different directions, and often find themselves feeling lonely, discouraged, and unappreciated. The last thing they need is someone telling them what they really need.
What they desire most is a friend who really cares about them and their problems. Deep down, they long for understanding and a way to minimize some of their problems. They want to be appreciated, valued, and affirmed. They need a friend.
It’s not rocket science, but the truth of life today seems to have escaped our notice. This is where “show and tell” enters the picture. We have to show them Jesus (by our love) before we have earned the right to tell them about Him. If we are modeling Jesus to them, we will have done our spiritual “advertising” before we attempt to sell them on what we are offering. This, of course, is nothing new. It’s simply something we don’t do often enough.
Discipleship isn’t something we do after a person comes to Christ. It begins as soon as we pursue a relationship with someone. Jesus commanded us to “make disciples.” If we genuinely care about the person, consistently showing Jesus by our life, it’s likely that he or she will initiate the conversation about “spiritual things” as we are asked about what makes us the way we are. We must “show” before we attempt to “tell.” As the saying goes, they don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. Jesus didn’t go around expounding theology. He went around doing good and being compassionate to people in need.
I’ve written this article because I need to be reminded of the truth of “show and tell.” Perhaps you do too.
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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are.