Seven Obstacles to Sharing Your Faith, Part 3

While web-surfing one day last month, I ran across an article on christianitytoday.com by Chris Lutes entitled Seven Reasons Not to Share Christ (and why we should go ahead and do it anyway). I thought it would make a good a good blog series.

Lutes writes for his third reason:

3) “My friends will make fun of me”
Here’s something to think about: We often turn this fear into a bigger problem than it really is. You’d be surprised at how often people will respect you for your beliefs. They might not understand why you don’t drink at parties, or avoid dirty jokes, or why you like youth group. And you might hear an occasional “fanatic” or “religious nut.” But people often find genuine faith pretty interesting—confusing, but interesting. Many people will even respect you for your strong convictions. In fact, when we try our best to live and act like Jesus, we “shine like stars” in a world that’s pretty dark (Philippians 2:15). So let your life shine, knowing others can’t help but be attracted to the light.

I agree that the fear of rejection is usually greater than the reality of rejection. Most of the time, friends and acquaintances will respect your beliefs, as long as you’re not obnoxious about them, and your lifestyle and convictions can be used by the Holy Spirit to draw people to Him.

There is a flip side, however. If we are living for Jesus Christ, and sharing the Gospel, we should expect opposition. In the book of 1 Peter, the apostle Peter gives advice to Christians who are being persecuted. At the time Peter wrote this letter, Christians were not only being made fun of – they were being imprisoned and executed. Rather than telling Christians to fear persecution, Peter tells them they are blessed:

1 Peter 3:13-14 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?  But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”

1 Peter 4:14a If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

How can Peter say that Christians are blessed when they are persecuted? Peter is not promoting some sort of masochistic enjoyment of being abused. Rather, he is focusing on the eternal rather than the temporary. In 1 Peter 5:10-11 he writes,

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.  To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Those who have received Christ as Lord and Savior will spend eternity with Him in heaven. Peter is saying that God takes the persecution we endure today and uses it in the processes of perfecting us, establishing us in Him, strengthening us, and settling us. These processes begin in the present, and will be completed in eternity. God takes that which is meant for evil, and uses it to make us more Christ-like. This is why Peter says we are blessed when we are persecuted.

Another aspect of the “my friends will make fun of me” reason for not sharing the Gospel is that perhaps you are hanging out with the wrong “friends.” As Christians, it is vital that we have other Christians as our closest friends. We need like-minded believers in Jesus Christ to support us, advise us, and keep us accountable for what we say and do. As a Christian, if you don’t have some close Christian friends – find some. This doesn’t mean that Christians should abandon all of their friendships with non-Christians, however. Christians are commanded to share Jesus Christ with the unsaved people around us; we can’t do this if we don’t know any non-Christians. But, if these non-believers are influencing us in the wrong direction, leading us to sin, then we need to distance ourselves from the negative influences. Paul tells the Christian in Romans 12:2,

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Sometimes there is a fine line between being a Godly influence on the non-Christians around us, and the non-Christian being an un-Godly influence on us. This is why, as Christians, it is vital that we have close Christian friends that will help keep us focused on Jesus Christ.

So, while it is true that the Christian will be made fun of sometimes when they share their faith, it isn’t usually the case; when we are made fun of or persecuted, we are blessed by God; and by having Christian friends we can lean on for support, it’s a lot easier to deal with. Yes, rejection hurts. But Godly friends and the Holy Spirit will see the Christian through the rejection. So, don’t worry about your friends making fun of you. Share your faith “with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15), and leave the results up to God.

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One Response

  1. I like what St Francis of Assissi said. “preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words”. I think Paul’s words are good also when it comes to a blueprint, if you will for evangelism.

    And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
    (1Co 2:1-5)

    How our “witnessing” for Christ would change if His power was being demonstrated. How much easier would it be to ask someone if they would like to meet the savior who just enabled them to walk, or enabled them to receive their sight, or restored hearing. We would not, as Paul says rely on wise and persuasive words but instead on the Lord’s awesome power and might and He would add to His church daily those who were being saved just as He did in the book of Acts

    Just some things that came to me as I was reading your blog. Pray about them and see what the Lord says to you

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