Are You Afraid of Sharing the Gospel?

Day 3 | Today’s passage

Philippians 1:12-18

How much do we really care about people getting to hear the gospel?

I think back to a recent opportunity I had to tell a friend about Jesus Christ. John had been sharing with me about some of the struggles he was facing with his family and his fight against depression.

In that moment, I knew exactly what I needed to say, but somehow the words got stuck in my throat, like a large and uncomfortable lump. As the conversation carried on, I mostly listened and offered him some advice, all the while knowing that what I should’ve done was share the hope of Christ with him.

Why hadn’t I done that? On reflection, I’d been scared. Since I’ve known him, John has always been outspoken about his atheistic beliefs and his criticism of religion. And while we’ve had conversations that circled around the topic of God in the past, I always fell short of telling him the full gospel for fear of how he’d react.

What if he took offense to my sharing of the gospel? Wouldn’t that make the dynamics of one of my closest friendships uneasy and awkward? Furthermore, what if he was upset enough to tell the rest of our friends about my obnoxious effort to convert him? Wouldn’t that ruin my reputation, and effectively make me an outcast?

That’s why Paul’s example in Philippians 1:12-18 proved such a rebuke to me. In these verses Paul models what our mindset should be—one that is so consumed with the spread of the gospel that looking after our own comfort pales in comparison.

In these verses, we find Paul in a somewhat sticky situation. Not only was he writing to the Philippian church from prison, but as he wrote in verse 17, he has cause for concern that stems from the void his imprisonment has left. It seemed that some of the people who stepped up to spread the gospel in Paul’s absence were doing it with bad motives; as the apostle writes “supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.”

However, Paul’s response is most encouraging to us. Instead of moping about his situation, he rejoices (v. 18)! What’s most important to Paul is that his imprisonment has proved fruitful for the gospel. It has given him opportunities to share with his prison guards, and it has also caused other Christians to have the boldness to preach the gospel (vv. 13-14). Despite his dire situation and the impure motives that others may have (vv. 17-18), Paul cares most about the spread of the gospel.

So how much do we really care about people getting to hear the gospel?

My failure to share the gospel with John betrayed that maybe I’m more concerned about my own comfort and reputation; I wasn’t willing to endure any potential uneasiness and awkwardness. I needed to have the mindset that Paul displayed in Philippians—one that loved John enough to tell him the best news I’d ever heard no matter what it would cost me.

It doesn’t mean that I need to be brash and steamroll conversations, but Paul’s example does encourage me to think harder about how I can share the gospel with my friends. May we be like Paul, not letting our fears hold us back. The spread of the gospel—and seeing many come to the saving knowledge of Christ—is far too important.

—By Andrew Koay, Australia

Questions for reflection

  1. What fears hinder you from proclaiming Jesus Christ to the people around you?
  2. What are some difficulties you are going through right now? How can you pray that these become gospel opportunities?
  3. How do you feel when you see the gospel being shared with impure motives? How might Paul’s attitude challenge you to respond differently?

Artwork by Lydia Kathleen @letteringwithlydia

About the author

Andrew spends his free time watching true crime documentaries. He believes passionately in hearing God’s voice through His words in the Bible.

Read more devotions


9 replies
  1. Marie Claire
    Marie Claire says:

    2Tim1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”…Let us be bold And driven by the love of Christ share to others the Good news. Thanks for today’s devotion.

    Reply
    • Saviour Muss
      Saviour Muss says:

      Indeed as we delight in the word of God, He will give unto us the desires of out hearts.(Psalm 37:4)

      For the LORD, Himself shall intervein and direct our pathway as we plan on sharing and spreading His word.(Prov 16:9)

  2. Blake
    Blake says:

    Sharing the gospel for me is often living out its principals and Christ’s core message to love others. Doing that well at times has its hurdles—we often make a mess of things. Though, in similar fashion of what Jesus went through on the cross faith is messy, awkward, and uncomfortable. Often times to really comfort those we see in pain it means being uncomfortable ourselves.

    Reply
  3. Mary
    Mary says:

    Thanks for this inspiring word,it has motivated me to spread the word of God to my family and my friends as well no matter what.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *