Do you know how it is when you realize you should do something but don’t? That list is longer than I care to admit. But the one on my mind today is the practice of talking to others about God. I don’t do it enough.
Now, the odd part is, it’s not because I’m uncomfortable talking to others about Jesus. In fact, I love talking to others about the Lord! Nor is it because I don’t know how or that I’m afraid I’m going to offend somebody. My reason is that it’s become a habit.
I’m a good listener, and I have learned how to encourage others to talk about themselves and their life experiences. For whatever reason, however, they don’t talk about Jesus either. Perhaps it’s because my friend is not aware of Him throughout the week. Maybe he’s uncomfortable.
One obstacle I believe many of us share, however, is an awkwardness talking about Jesus in casual conversation. Some of us are okay with these conversations in a discussion group or Bible study, but because we live in a world that excludes God and deeper spiritual matters from regular discourse, we tend to follow the same pattern as the group around us. We call this tendency social proof.
Whatever my reason or that of my neighbor, I know one thing: I need to break the silence. People all over, both inside and outside of our churches, are hurting, lonely, suffering, feeling lost or alone. They don’t see meaning in their life. They are looking for hope but they don’t know where to find it. Many live lives of quiet desperation and that includes followers of Christ. Even mature disciples need encouragement from time to time. We cannot be Church if we don’t share about Jesus.
I am going to commit to breaking the silence, and I ask you to join me. The next time you’re talking to someone about the weather, your kid’s baseball schedule or a project you’re working on, go deeper and ask your friend a question about his experience, what motivates him, his hopes and dreams, struggles or successes. Listen to the deeper story in his soul. Then connect his story with your own and share about how Christ has moved in your life. When you tell your story, avoid the temptation to preach. If your friend needs to be challenged, ask him a direct question rather than delivering a hidden sermon. Let us put Hebrews 10:24-25 into practice:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.