So without going into too much detail… I have a friend (yes, I actually do have real life friends that aren’t furry creatures).. that is going through a pretty difficult time. His marriage is on the rocks and he’s struggling to find any hope. Without prying too much, I asked him how he was doing and talked with him briefly about the entire situation. And at the end of the conversation, I wanted to be able to offer him some kind of hope.. some way for him to see even the teensy amount of light at the end of the tunnel. Well, no such luck. Dont’cha hate that? You want to offer the person some kind of uplifting advice and you go blank, you ain’t got nothing.. nada. zip. xelch. You get the idea.
So, before getting off the phone with him, I simply said… “well, is there anything I can do?” (As if I could wave some magical wand and make everything better..) He politely declined (because after all, he knew my magical tank of power was empty). And so I said something to the effect of.. “Well, I’ll be praying for you and everything.” Yeah.. and everything. That’s pretty much what I said. It’s only because I felt awkward saying it. I mean.. I’ve said it before- like a zillion times, but I’m not sure I’ve ever said it to someone without knowing whether they even believed in God. It was kinda one of those- “oh crap, I hope he’s not buddhist or atheist.. well, even they need praying so.. well, crap…either way, it’s too late now” moments. Ever had one of those? Yeah, probably not.. I’m sure I’m the only crazy person who thinks like that.
So, after I said that. He was like..”uhh, thanks.” And then the conversation ended. I wondered what he thought at that exact moment. I hoped he was comforted by it because I really was going to pray for him… but then I thought maybe he thought I was weird and was going to shun me from his life. Yes, I take life to the extreme.
Well.. turns out a few days later. I asked him yet again, if there was anything that I could do for him. And he responded, “if you could pray for me, that’d be great.” I think I was stunned for like a millisecond or so before responding.. “Well, I’ve been doing that and I’ll definitely continue..is there anything else?” So, it’s safe to say.. my moment of praying anxiety was actually comforting to him and I pray it continues to…
So, the moral of this crazy, overlydramatic story?? Well.. since when did we, as Christians, become so hesitant to share our faith or even to say something as simple as.. “I’ll be praying for you..”? You may not go through the same anxiety that I did.. but I’m sure there has been a time in your life when you’ve been hesitant to express your faith. But why??? What are we so ashamed of?
Why are we so ashamed to claim ourselves as children of God? Or that we find strength and hope in the Almighty? Or that we find peace and comfort in a Father no earthly human being could offer? Why do we tense up at the workplace or the local daycare or even around a group of friends… but so outwardly express our love around other Christians and at church? Fear of rejection? Probably. But why..?
The likelihood of us being persecuted to our death because of our beliefs is highly unlikely. The likelihood of us getting shunned from a restaurant or fired from our jobs because we believe in God is pretty improbable. So, why do we hesitate? Unfortunately, we care too much about what others think of us. Shoot.. if I didn’t care what others thought about me.. I’d roll up into work in sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt, while wearing slippers. I don’t dress nicely for my health.. I dress to impress and because when I look nicer, I feel better about myself. If you’re sitting there thinking to yourself that you don’t care what others think of you… you’re lying to yourself. You may not care when it comes to clothing.. but I’m sure there is something in your life that makes you concerned of the opinions of others. (End rant here.)
So, why don’t you share your faith more? Because you care too much about what people will think? (<– that’s my ridiculous excuse.) Because you’re still growing in your faith and are nervous to share your own journey? (Well, we all are.. you’re not alone) Because you’re afraid you might not know all the answers? (NEWSFLASH: I definitely don’t know all the answers and I’m writing a blog about my faith.. don’t let that stop you.. there’s a thing called GOOGLE.. enter your question there and a million answers will pop up.. and there’s also this thing called BibleGateway – no, not the actual Bible.. it’s the 21st century people. everything is on the Internet…seek out the answer and while helping a friend, you’ll also be learning something new- WIN-WIN!)
When it comes down to it.. we have no reason to be afraid. There isn’t a valid reason out there to not share with others about the joy God can bring to their life. People in other countries are sharing their faith and they live in constant persecution. We fortunately live in a country where we don’t have to worry about that.. and we still hesitate. But, hesitate no longer. Be proud of the work God has done in your life..and sharing your story might even help someone get through the struggles their facing in their own life. God works in mysterious ways.. mysteriously awesome ways- and there is no reason we shouldn’t be sharing that with others. This is one time in life that it’s okay to speak before you think. Because once you get thinking.. most likely you’ll have talked yourself out of it. So, go.. share the love of Christ, pray for those who don’t know Him and speak without thinking twice.