5 Reasons Christians Don’t Seem to Share Their Faith Anymore
Why is it so hard to share our faith?
Let me rephrase that. Why is it so hard to share our faith in a smart, loving, brave, honest, humble, and confident way? When you add those qualifiers, it gets a bit wordy and a whole lot harder. These qualifiers hint at why it’s so difficult to do something that shouldn’t be complicated—telling people about Jesus.
1. Let’s start with the descriptor smart.
Many of us feel as if we need a theology degree to debate an average skeptic on the tenets of our faith. There are two fronts we face in this battle. One is a cultural front. In our hyperspeed culture, if you can’t produce a dazzling point in sixty seconds, you might as well yawn on behalf of your audience and get it over with. How do you share something as complex as the gospel at the expected pace?
2. We also feel unequipped on another front: ignorance.
Many Jesus-followers are rather uninformed on the history, accuracy, context, and content of the Scriptures, and the research necessary to acquire substantive knowledge of our faith takes much longer than a two-minute Google search. The solution is simple, but not easy. We need to study the Scriptures with much more commitment and depth, and then deliver this knowledge with gentleness and respect.
In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15, NIV).
3. There’s another reason we tend not to talk about God: we wait too long.
We’ve all heard the phrase “The first step is always the hardest.” It is derived from a proverb describing how the first stretch of a difficult journey is the hardest. Sometimes integrating faith into the journey of a particular friendship is the hardest step. You know the routine: We make a new friend (yay!). We talk about sports, the weather, The Bachelor. Then we slide into the next phase of friendship—familiarity. Uh-oh. We haven’t told them the most important thing about ourselves: We love Jesus (eek!). We missed the window where it would feel normal to tell them, and now it will feel yucky if we get rejected. The longer we avoid declaring our true allegiance, the more awkward it becomes.
I have two thoughts on this:
First, we need to be intentional about sharing our faith sooner. This is simply part of telling our story, not attempting to convert someone. We can avoid a lot of unnecessary anxiety if we’re more transparent in general.
Second, we need to be less concerned with getting rejected and more concerned with giving credit to the One who made us such desirable friends—God. If you are a true Christ-follower, part of being real is giving Him the credit for your being a halfway decent person. In general, we don’t care for those who are led more by people-pleasing fears than by what they genuinely care about. We may not agree with someone’s beliefs, but we respect them for striving to live by them. But it goes beyond the fact that people will respect you more for standing for your faith than for cowering behind it. It’s about putting God first, and being secure with God rather than feeling secure with people.
He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30, ESV).
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