Does the idea of evangelism make you quake in your shoes? Perhaps you believe you just don’t know enough yet about Scripture. You are afraid people will have questions of which you don’t have the answer. Or, maybe you feel you’ll stumble over your own words and always think afterwards, why didn’t I say that instead?
We concentrate too much on how people will receive us, don’t we? We don’t want to flub it and turn them off to Christ. We don’t want to sound like dummies. We don’t want others to turn up their noses at us.
We are not alone. Moses told God he was slow of speech and to pick someone else, please, to lead God’s people. (Exodus 4:10) Even Paul, whose letters have touched millions upon millions over the centuries said –
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom… I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom …” (I Corinthians 2:1-2,4a)
Recently, I read a definition of evangelism that made me do a double take. It stated it is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ by thoughts and deeds, and if necessary, with words. The emphasis is on the life style, not the sermon. It isn’t so much what we say as how we back up those words with our lives.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a kind deed is worth ten times that. There are cliches like “walk as you talk”, “tell as you dwell”, “show what you know”, etc. The truth is, when we are walking close to our Lord, His light will shine in and through us. People will be drawn to it like moths.
When it comes to proclaiming with words, remember God told his prophets the people would often not listen, but to proclaim what He told them and to do what He said anyway. Our job is to do and act the way the Holy Spirit prompts us and to leave how that is received up to God. That takes the emphasis (and responsibility) off our shoulders and yields the control to our Lord.
Like the woman at the well, we should be so excited about what Jesus is doing in our lives, we don’t care about how we come off to others or what they think. People believed the Samaritan woman because she acted differently. She no longer avoided people at the well in the early morning out of fear of ridicule, and thus only come during the heat of the day when she knew nobody else would be around, but boldly dashed into town to tell everyone she saw about Christ. (John 4: 11-29)
I need to concentrate more on walking close with my God and pleasing Him, not on how others perceive me. That is a form of sinful pride, masked in insecurity. It makes it “all about me” and not Jesus.
Don’t I believe that God works out all to be good? Even if I flub it, if I try in His name with my best intentions, who is to say He won’t use that? We sow the seed, He prepares the ground.
If I am filled with His presence, my mind will be less on me. I will be more prone to proclaim Him, as Paul ends up saying –
” … in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (I Cor 2:4b-5)
Give God the glory, no matter what the results. If I could change around an old saying to make my point, it would be – “ours is not to reason why, ours is to do – so others won’t die.”