This past weekend we were all challenged to get serious about sharing our faith with those around us, to be prepared to share the truth of God in all situations, and to have our eyes and hearts open to the Spirit so that we are aware when He is directing us.
We were also presented with several reasons why many people do not share their faith. One of these was fear. Fear can be a powerful emotion, something that holds us and prevents us from acting, or which compels us to act. I have heard it said by many people that fear is the strongest emotion, and it’s easy to see why. Fear has so many faces, plays so many roles, that it is able to wiggle its way into everyone’s life in one way or another. Probably none of us have to fear for our lives or fear torture if we tell someone about Christ, though many in the world do. However, we do face the fear or rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of being ostracized, fear that we won’t know answers to objections and appear ignorant or stupid, etc… So I completely agree that fear is a strong deterrent to our willingness to share our faith.
However, there is another emotion that I also commonly hear referred to as the strongest emotion, and that is love. In the sermon this past weekend, Harold said that we live in a world that is drowning, and we are the lifeguards. I got to thinking about the movie “The Guardian” and the quote/motto “So that others may live …” As Christians, this should be our mindset. We should walk into fear, with the courage that comes from Christ through the love that He has for us, and the world around us, with the idea that we will share our faith, despite fear, in order to save those around us.
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.” – 1 John 4:18a
It is amazing how little fear comes into play when love is involved. People will risk their lives and walk into the most dangerous of situations, facing a whole variety of fears for someone they love. Even a general love for people, will very often, override fear. Going back to the illustration of drowning, I imagine that most of you would willingly face fear, and take a risk to save a total stranger that you saw drowning, and especially someone that you consider a friend. It’s only natural. If you love someone, and you see them in danger, see them dying, you will disregard fear in order to try and save them.
It should be no different when it comes to sharing our faith. There are people around us everyday who are dying. They are drowning, and they need someone to save them. It would be ridiculous to say we wouldn’t try to help them because we are afraid they may reject the flotation device, so we might as well not even offer; we are afraid they will make fun of the way we swim, so we stay on shore; we are afraid they don’t believe they are in danger, so we might as well let them die. We would never do this to someone who was physically drowning, so we cannot for those who are spiritually drowning. Take a step out on faith, embrace God’s love for the world around you and reject the fear that Satan tries to use to hold us back. You may be rejected, you may be ridiculed, you may be ostracized, but you may save someone from drowning, and doesn’t that far outweigh everything else?
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7