by Julia Sterne
September 18, 2014
4 min read
I have never “brought anyone to Jesus.” I have shared my faith before, but no one has ever taken that moment to fall on their knees and confess “Jesus is Lord.” It has never resulted in anyone asking more about how they can get to know this “Jesus guy.”
I have shared my faith before, but every time I wonder if God is actually paying attention when I do it. It feels risky and kind of lonely and really, really, REALLY intimidating. I wonder, am I even doing this right? Am I doing this for the right reasons?
I really appreciated our last sermon series at St. Peter’s, Talking About How We Talk About Jesus. It was helpful knowing I am not alone in these questions. And it was a bonus that some of my thoughts and questions were given peace. But in one of the final minutes of one of the last sermons, I could not help but have a sinking feeling – I do not really want to share my faith. It was a very honest thought, not one to be praised, but maybe some form of confession to God.
There we were learning how to talk about Jesus, but my past seeming “failures” had tainted the picture. Instead of feeling great passion and desire to talk about Jesus, I was remembering the times it was poorly received or simply made no seeming impact. I recognized the importance of it and the rightness of doing it and the possibility of good coming from it, but … I just did not want to do it.
Luckily, sitting in church, this confession led me to God. Lord, what am I supposed to do? My past efforts feel forced and fake in a way. How am I supposed to talk about Jesus? Will it always feel odd and uncomfortable and intimidating?
God answered me. It was images in my mind of people I love. My mom and dad. My brother and sister. Alastair. Ansley. These are people I pray for every day. These are people I care deeply about. I care about their day-to-day life, their hopes and dreams, and their walk with God.
It doesn’t just have to be me telling everyone what I think is right or who I think Jesus is. Sharing my faith starts in God pulling my heart closer to another human being.
I am so blessed that these people who initially came to my mind are Christians. I know they have made decisions in their lives to follow Jesus, but it still feels like a very important role in my relationship with them to ask, “How are you doing with God? How’s church? How can I pray for you?” And that these people in knowing me, also hear about my walk with God, my faith.
God showed me that I already share my faith in genuine and loving and caring ways. He bought more and more people to mind that I love and pray for. Men and women and children, some Christian, some not. I felt the warmth that these people bring into my life. I felt the love I have for them all, no matter where they are in their faith.
He seemed to ask, “Do you like talking about me with these people?”
My heart answered, “Yes! It is my favourite!”
Suddenly I had a different idea about sharing my faith.
I have shared my faith before, but I was maybe too focused on people’s conversion or my success rate or even my intentions. My simple confession and chat with God took the pressure off. Worrying about sharing my faith made me more burdened than God intended. I do not think he wanted me to be so worried and stressed. It doesn’t just have to be me telling everyone what I think is right or who I think Jesus is.
Sharing my faith starts in God pulling my heart closer to another human being. Then he leads me to pray for them in some way. And he builds friendship and opportunity for these people to know me, and in a way to know Jesus through me. It is me getting to ask them questions about how they see God and being open to answering any of theirs. And again, it is me praying for them. A lot of praying.
I have shared my faith before, and now, I want to do it again.