Have you ever struggled with whether or not to share about Jesus with someone?
We all face this struggle in one way or another. Perhaps you’ve been at work and considered sharing your faith with someone in need. Maybe religious topics have come up, and you’ve wondered whether or not to vocalize what you think. Maybe you’ve hesitated being a light, shining city, or house on the rock, as we read about in Matthew 5-7 yesterday for worship.
Will he be receptive of my testimony? Will she be open to what I have to say? If I talk, will it just make things awkward? Will they reject me? Do I even have the right words to say?
This sort of “spiritual anxiety” is somewhat common in our world as many people struggle with it. The history behind our uncertainty has to do a lot with religion’s role in society. We often don’t want to come across as too pushy or forceful. So we may second guess ourselves and decisions when it comes to our identity in Christ and the public around us. We don’t want to sound like an angry, hysterical preacher on the side of a crowded street corner–which is usually the caricature that comes to mind!
Alfred North Whitehead, a famous philosopher from the early 1900s, famously once said that “religion is what you do with your solitude.” Even though Whitehead often criticized Christianity, his definition of religion has undoubtedly impacted countless Christians today. We are often tempted to believe that Christianity is just something “between me and God” and not too public, outspoken, or even vocal.
One of the biggest struggles in the church today is treating Christianity like a solitary exercise. We are tempted to believe following Jesus only affects an hour here and there on Sunday mornings or during a midweek bible study or fellowship meal. Likewise, many church attendees might think it best to just keep quiet the rest of the week.
That’s not what Jesus taught us, however, in something like the parable of the wise and foolish builders. Not only should we put Jesus’ words into practice, but those actions create for us a “house” for other people to see.
You don’t need a bible school degree or even have a mini-sermon planned out to be a witness in our world. As I shared on Sunday, my wife recently showed the love of Christ to an overworked and stressed-out customer service representative by speaking kind, calming words. It is truly a huge mistake to assume that religion is just our “quiet time” or what we do with our solitude. Following Jesus means we are called to be vibrant witnesses of God’s kingdom. We do that by preaching the words of Jesus. We also do that by following in his steps and living out his actions.