So I got my own book. 🙂
So I got my own book. 🙂
warmwordsforcoldnights asked a question:
One thing that’s on my mind some days is about witnessing and living your life. Is it a daily thing, that you witness to others or in the course of your life when your led is it that way. It may be a crazy question, but seeing that I’ve never seen it done or have been discipled. It feels like most times I’m just guessing and when I have shares my faith it was like I felt I didn’t say the right thing or I left something out.
Hey my friend: I think you landed on exactly what’s so tough about evangelism.
There’s a secret fear with Christians that we’re somehow fooling people into Jesus, as if we’re selling a campaign that we don’t quite believe ourselves. It could be that we’re never quite certain about the right doctrine or the best presentation. Or we’re not exactly living up to the ideal that we share, and there’s a troubling guilt that we might be wrong about this whole thing, so it’s this awkward sheepish hesitation masked with an almost too-loud confidence. Like selling snake-oil that we want to really believe in, but remain unsure. And some of us just feel straight up unworthy or too unknowledgeable to speak up.
I think a lot of this is because of the way we’re taught evangelism. In the mainstream church (which I love, by the way, and I’m not bashing), we’re mostly taught to package the Gospel with one-liners, retorts, psychological allurement, and a final deal-closing prayer. I mean let’s think about this. I’m going to tell you the truth of the universe about God in a five minute sale at your front door. I’m cool with door-to-door evangelism: but is this really the standard for sharing our faith?
This is a sort of “success model” in which we’re expected to “convert” people by numerical values and scripted responses. In the end, it’s trying to turn the Gospel into one more program. So of course, we get nervous that we’re not living it right AND saying it right, and it’s a double-fear that many Christians don’t talk about. We just act as convinced as possible but we’re not willing to doubt our own product.
God totally has grace for you when you mess it up. He loves you no matter what. He wants you to cast off guilt and shame, because it doesn’t work and it’s not who you are and it’s what Jesus came to die for.
On the other hand: God does want you to recover. He wants you not only to experience the cover of grace, but also His grace-empowered Spirit for a fruitful, passionate, purposeful, mission-driven life.
I believe God will restore you every time you fail for the rest of your life, so when you relapse and go down a porn-binge, God is still going to love you afterward, every time. But my question is: Do you really want to keep living this way?
I’m not asking this to guilt-trip you. I’m only saying that once the old self is dead, it’s not worth it to go back there anymore. I don’t think Lazarus missed his tomb and climbed into his coffin sometimes. I don’t think the healed blind man Bartimaeus wore a blindfold to reminisce on his days tripping over things.
You’ll be forgiven by God every single time, but God wants you to experience the fully forgiven life too.
So if you break a “clean streak,” please don’t wallow in self-pity. When you mess it up, it’s okay. But what’s even better is getting to the place where going back is no longer an option, and you’re so in love with God that turning around is unthinkable. I believe we can get there. I believe our God is that powerful. I believe we are not merely works in progress, but we are empowered by It Is Finished.
J.S. from What The Church Won’t Talk About