I’ve never been the type who is bold to share my faith. I truly admire those people on Facebook and social media who can proclaim their love for Jesus as easily as I share my cat videos and what I ate for lunch. I suppose if I’m honest with myself, part of me is afraid. Afraid of being ridiculed or shamed, labeled even. Part of it is my self judgement of looking like a hypocrite knowing who I once was and where I’ve come from. Then the other part of me is well aware of who my audience is. Liberal, young free-spirited millennials brought up in a postmodern world telling them, it’s okay to believe whatever you want just as long as you don’t force your beliefs on anyone else.
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The reality is, it’s not just young liberal millennials who have this mindset. A lot of the struggles that are rooted in “boldness” come from that belief. Surely, you’ve had an encounter with someone at work or school or a relative even, who you’ve seen struggle, you’ve heard their complaints and heartaches, perhaps you’ve even thought to yourself ‘Wow they need Jesus’, yet we refuse to be the one to share it with them. Society has made it okay to talk about anything and everything except for God. Perhaps it’s that unspoken understanding that has convinced Christians knowing God and never acting on it is enough.
Jesus was clear with his disciples about what He wanted and expected them to do after He left.
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
There’s no talk of passivity in there. So then why is it so difficult to speak to someone about Jesus in the moment? Times like those remind me of the Apostle Paul. Who in his time showed such passion and true boldness in proclaiming the goodness of God that he didn’t care if he was thrown in jail or called crazy or even killed. Paul, who of all people surely had reason to stay quiet after his former reputation for being Saul the Christian Slayer. Yet, after his encounter with God, Paul became a brand-new man.
I’m inspired by Paul because he was so motivated by the way God had transformed his life he physically could not contain his excitement. God had shaken him to his very core so much, that to Paul, proclaiming the news about Jesus was more than praying for someone, there was an urgency behind it. I believe that this passion demonstrated by Paul is within each of us. We talk about the things we are most passionate about to the point where we cannot contain ourselves. Politics, traveling, our jobs, but where does Jesus come into the conversation?
So, I suppose the question is now “how to become bold”?
The first is to trust God. Trust that He has equipped you for any situation He places you in. If God is pressing into you to speak to someone or be public about your faith trust that He has also given you the strength, wisdom, and courage to speak truth. Allow yourself to simply be the sewer and let God do the rest.
Secondly have confidence. Know who you are in God and carry yourself with that understanding. Equip yourself by knowing the word of God, not so that you can throw bible verses at people but so you can understand God’s character and remember that discomfort is temporary.
Lastly allow yourself to rediscover your passion. Be like Paul. Rediscover the reason you chose to follow Christ in the first place. Recognize the journey you’ve walked and from where you once came and the transformation that has happened along the way. Remember that if it were not for someone’s boldness towards you, you’d still be the person you once were.