I’m not a huge fan of generalizing, so I’m just going to speak from personal experience and hope it resonates with those who read this:
I’m a college-aged man who genuinely loves the Lord more than anything else this world can offer. I drink more coffee than the average person probably should, and frequent the local shops where my friends and I meet to extensively discuss scripture. I read books on Christian spirituality for enjoyment during what spare moments of free time I have. I sing on the music team for a non-denominational student ministry in front of hundreds of other students. I work at Christian summer camp. I give a whole-hearted effort to be real and authentic with my closest friends—intentionally building close, meaningful relationships with them. I make it a priority to demonstrate Christ’s sacrificial love to the people around me daily, and I profess myself to be a follower of Christ.
Yet I could not be worse at making it a priority to actually share my faith with those who God places in my life.
Perhaps somewhere along the way, I think I began to barter my way out of things. I remember one moment—probably more recent than I wish to admit—where I said to a friend, “You know, some people are incredible at talking to people about their faith, but I’m more of just a ‘demonstrate my faith through my actions and love’ kind of person.” I think I’ve been justifying myself out of this for so long that I began to actually believe it as true, and perhaps you’ve sold yourself short in similar ways.
Faith without putting the love of our Creator into action is dead, but there comes a time when we are all called to open up our mouths and speak—a time when we’ll be accountable to tell people why we serve the way we serve, why we live the way we do, and why we love in the radical way we love. If I embody the love of Christ in all that I do, professing with my mouth that sharing my faith is important, is it really all that important to me if I neglect to do so?
“Because what we believe isn’t what we say we believe.
What we believe is what we do.” —Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
Am I going to get rejected, discredited and scrutinized? Yeah. But I should ask myself, “Do I cherish the good news of God’s unconditional love deeply enough to share it with others? Am I willing to be rejected hundreds of times in order that one person I hardly know might experience the incredible, glorious riches of His forgiveness? These are tough questions I have begun to ask myself, and I hope, perhaps, that you’ll ask yourself the same things too.
I’ve come to realize that the more I recklessly pursue the One who wrote my story, the more I’m able to grasp the true depths of His selfless love for me. The more I grasp His love for me, the more I am overcome with the passion to share it with other people. The more I am caught in His boundless love, the more I realize that man’s opinion of me never really mattered anyway.
And that, my friends, is when you know you have found the heart of it all.