Going Public

FearFor many people, myself included, telling others about Jesus seems a bit like telling people about Amway. At least, the discomfort (fear?) ahead of time feels similar, and the reaction received is also strikingly similar. (I’m not at all proud of this truth, by the way.)

But that’s stupid. Isn’t it? I mean, Jesus is the best news ever, but people seem to receive words about him with as much disdain and skepticism as they do multi-level marketing.

Not exactly sure why this is, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Loving Jesus is a lifestyle, it’s actions, and not simply the words we use. As I thought about this and realized my struggle in this area, the Holy Spirit turned on a light that showed how sharing the Gospel — talking about Jesus — really is not difficult.

  • Focus on Gratitude — Letting people know what Jesus has done for you comes from a place of gratitude, not fear. So, if you feel fear, try focusing on being thankful.
  • Remember Your Anointing — Isaiah said it first, and Jesus quoted him. They said the “anointed” would proclaim the good news to the poor. We also know that the anointing abides (dwells) within us (1 John 2:27). So, no matter how we feel about our abilities or how about we’ll be received, the anointing exists to qualify each one of us.

Public 1

  • Focus on What You Know — What you know best is what Jesus has done for you. Simply speak to what you know about him personally.
  • Don’t Force It — Don’t focus on where you see others headed without Jesus, at least not at first. Let them see Jesus in you first and wait for the opportunity to go further.
  • Create Awareness — Do this by the way you live life with Jesus. Let his peace and power be seen in and through you amidst the chaos of life, and let others be drawn to him as they desire that same peace and power. Trust the Holy Spirit to do the drawing.

Yes, Jesus and the Gospel of salvation seem too good to be true. The idea that our past can be erased and that we can be made new and pure is amazing. The fact that it’s free to us is baffling. In today’s culture, many people want something for nothing but avoid that which truly is free to them. Salvation is free to everyone, but making him Lord requires giving all of what we are.

“If you live for Jesus as a secret agent, you’ll eventually wake up as a double agent.” (Pastor Steve Miller)

Don’t keep Jesus a secret. Don’t try to live for him on the inside and neglect doing so on the outside for fear of what others might think. The Great Commission says to “go and make disciples.” This “go” really means “in your going,” in other words, “as you go about your life.”

For me, this means as I write and teach. It means as I parent my two boys and as I fulfill my marriage covenant. It means taking the opportunities God gives to share Him and realizing these opportunities often come through the way that I live life and the way I react when life runs me over.

Forcing things in my life has never turned out very well. In fact, it’s almost always gotten me overwhelmed and in places I knew weren’t meant for me (jobs, commitments, etc.) But waiting for God to open doors always leads down the path of balance.

It’s hard to resist creating my own path. After all, the worlds’ wisdom says I need to make my dreams happen. But that’s just never worked for me. Every opportunity that’s held God’s anointing came when He created the path as I waited for him to do so. Taking steps down the path he creates isn’t always easy and require a lot of effort on our part, but they will always lead to a place where going public about Jesus comes from who we are in him and not from forced “shoulds.”

DISCUSSION: How do you feel about “going public” about Jesus?

12 thoughts on “Going Public

  1. As a salesman for most of my career I learned this truth, it is never the product or concept that will convince people to invest, it is the benefit to them that is their motivation. This is a truth in the nature of man – the old what's in it for me syndrome. People will be more likely to inquire themselves about Jesus once they see the message he presented as benefiting their lives and that only comes when "we" demonstrate and communicate clearly that same message by the way we live our life. We should not try to come off as a stiff old fashioned huckster looking for the quick sale – which sadly many of the traditional evangelical outreach methods come off sounding. Also, we are God's representatives sent out. Share the why not the what and the who until asked.

    Finally, I may get some boos from the pews but until the person is ready and asks, don't keep tossing out rote scripture, especially in Old English. You might as well be quoting the original Greek and Hebrew. Communicate God's message from your heart in a way and with words that are yours – this they will listen to and you will be surprised how more receptive they will be to you. Jesus downplayed who he was and focused on the message, and so should we.

    Your points will flow naturally and with far less apprehension, I promise you. Besides I believe the image of God's Spirit walking along side helps too.

    • "Let your light shine before men, so they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16) I've been studying the Beatitudes in my morning devotions lately, and it strikes me that these qualities in a person create a bright light that points others to the Father. Well said, my friend.

  2. As strange as it may seem I have had the hardest time expressing it out loud. Until I realized if I didn't say something they may never hear. Living it before others makes me like a ton of other people. I still try to use good timing and common sense when speaking though.
    My recent post Complicated

    • I struggle with the out loud part too, Bill. One reason I write is because it gives me a voice I might not otherwise speak. We certainly need the Holy Spirit to help us with that "good timing" and "common sense," don't we?

  3. As a person with some moderate social anxiety, it's generally hard for me to walk up and talk to people about anything. I have done it though when I felt a particular tug on my heart. It wasn't without fear, but there were mixed results. As you said though, it's up to the Holy Spirit to draw and you don't always know where a short conversation might lead someone. Most of the time, I've shared Jesus in the context of relationship. Then it felt more natural and an extension of me rather than trying to "win" someone to Christ. My wife is actually excellent at this. She's not in-your-face about her beliefs, but she's incredibly genuine and real. Anyway, good stuff, Kari! 🙂
    My recent post Songs and Other Burning Bushes

    • Well, to say I can relate to your perspective, Jason, is probably an understatement. I get the social anxiety. I get the fear of talking to people. I've learned that as a highly sensitive person and an introvert, I need to realize that I simply cannot connect with others like most of my friends. Relationships are key, for sure, so that is where I focus. Writing helps a ton too because not only does it allow me a way to connect with people and build relationships, it also helps me sort out my thoughts, which helps me be better prepared when I get the opportunity to talk to others about my faith. I've often asked God how in the world he can use a person like me when the most effective people are the opposite, and he just refers me to the many scriptures about different gifts and qualifying the called and my weakness being his strength. As you are, I am so glad to have examples of others (like your wife) who can help me stretch a bit outside my loner zone.

  4. You are so on again! Sadly even in the Christian world we keep hearing about making our dreams come true, about trying this or that. I agree that just living out or faith, doing what Jesus said, loving one another has to come first and foremost. It is not always easy to do, but sometimes it is our actions that speak the loudest. That may be followed by questions which help us point others to God.
    A God given dream I believe is one that we can't shake and that God will help to materialize as we honor Him in our daily living. It takes Faith, Hope and Love.

    • I've been studying the Beatitudes this week, and it's so clear that Jesus taught that we are to live a certain way and to expect that way to be very different from the world's way. In fact, much of the world won't hear and certainly won't appreciate it. But, we are to do it anyway to honor him. Fits with all that's being said here, I think.

      • Are you doing the Bible study that has been on line? I have it on line but saved as I have not been able to follow it daily. I plan to go back and follow it thru as I probably won't goback on the road for a whileuntil the eye is healed. Probably should not have gone when I did, but I missed it SOO much.From: [email protected]: [email protected]: Kari Scare replied to your comment on Going Public

  5. If you live for Jesus as a secret agent, you’ll eventually wake up as a double agent.” (Pastor Steve Miller)
    I am gonna post that one on my facebook wall…powerful. I love taking about Jesus and love it when I get to present the gospel. Sometimes I get to do it all, sow, water and reap but often it's more of the sow and water kind of witness. One thing that helps me is never forgetting those who witness to me, how they did it, how I reacted to them, how the Holy Spirit took what they said and drove it straight to my heart. I love knowing all I have to do is present the gospel , it's not my job to bring conviction. ONe thing I do look forward to in heaven is seeing if those i sowed the good seeds are there.
    Another thing that helps me to witness is just knowing it's not my story I am telling it's His. Great post Kari, as always you take issues and bring light to them. Thanks.

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