Written by Jesse Schmidt, Canada
Do you struggle with mentioning the name “Jesus” to your non-Christian friends? Perhaps you wrestle with some of these thoughts: “What will people think?” “How will my non-Christian friends react?” “What would my family members say to me?”
I personally struggle with these thoughts every so often. Sure, Jesus is everything to me. I have experienced His life-changing power and I love Him with all my heart, so I want to obey what His says and tell others about Him—but I can’t stop feeling anxious and fearful about it.
How can we overcome our fears and speak boldly of the hope that Jesus has brought to the world? I’ve been encouraged by the example of the believers in Acts, who prayed for boldness (Acts 4:29). Praying for boldness and for opportunities to share our faith is the first step in our endeavour to share what we believe with others. If we are nervous about telling others about Christ, we could get a Christian friend to come along. After all, Jesus did send His disciples out in pairs (Mark 6:7).
When it comes to how we can share about our faith in Jesus with others, the Bible tells us of two ways: Talking about Jesus and living out the gospel. In other words, we are to talk the walk and walk the talk.
Talking about Christ.
Jesus told people about the Kingdom of Heaven and about who He is. The disciples did likewise in Acts 5:42: “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”
At this point, you may be thinking: “Hey, I don’t feel called to be a missionary.” Fair enough. However, everyone is called to share about Christ wherever we are (be it abroad in a foreign land or in our homeland, to our neighbor). It can be as simple as asking what someone thinks about eternity, or simply inviting them to an event in our church or Christian organization. We are not limited in how we share about who Jesus is; the Lord has given us the creativity to do so in many different ways.
Living like Christ.
All who follow Jesus ought to walk like Him (1 John 2:6). How did Jesus walk? He spent time with the outcasts of society, tended to the sick, and fed the poor. All these acts showed how deeply He cared for those around Him. Let’s do these things too. We can spend time with someone who does not have many friends, help out at the local soup kitchen that provides food for homeless people, or offer to pray for those who are sick.
The way we live is also a strong testimony of the reality of Christ and the hope He brings. The believers in Acts lived distinctive lives—they shared everything they had and no one claimed anything as their own (Acts 4:32). This probably caused people around them to wonder and ask why they would choose to live this way. Indeed, these acts (pun intended) are good things to do—but let’s also not miss the opportunity to explain why we do these things, so that people know that Jesus is the reason (Romans 10:14-16). After all, we are called to give a reason for the hope that we believe in and that affects the way we live (1 Peter 3:15).
I am still trying to practise all these ways of sharing about Christ. While it has not always been easy and people are not always friendly in their response, I press on because I know the hope and joy I have in Christ . . . and I simply can’t keep it to myself!