A major wall I hit when the telling my world about Christ is that I am filled with fear. Filled.
I fear being rejected. Or worse-- being rejected on a platform where everyone can see. I fear being laughed at. I fear trying anything—hoping for anything, and then failing. Oh, how I fear failure.
I fear like my life depends on it.
I fear like my reputation depends on it.
And you know what? It does.
My reputation is most definitely at stake-- the more I try to talk about a man whose life, and death, and life again is a symbol that we are innately broken and messed up and we need a Savior. No one wants to hear that. Every other day I don’t want to hear that myself. And I fear the world thinking I’m socially ignorant, rudely forceful, or blindly religious if I mention something like salvation, or hint at someone like Jesus.
These fears used to drive me. And then something happened.
I went out on a limb—it was horrifying— and left my selfish, self-righteous, hedonistic self behind, and I sacrificed my comfortable world to use whatever gifts I had to tell people about the hope I had found. I let myself be seen for the world to ridicule, make fun of, and allowed myself to reach in ways that would be obvious if I failed. And you know what happened?
All of my fears came to pass.
I lost friends. I lost respect. I’ll be honest—I lost cool points. I was excluded. I was publicly humiliated. And I failed a ton of times.
But this is why I don’t care…
Greater than my fears of being rejected, losing friends, or being out casted-- I fear people dying without knowing Jesus. I fear that there is something I know that can save people from an eternity separated from a loving, joyful, compassionate God, and that they will never know Him—never experience Him— if I don’t speak up.
Indeed, I have found a fear greater than all my other fears.
My theology on evangelism is not “Be fearless!” On the contrary, I am filled with fear.
It keeps me up at night.
I am afraid for my friends that do the same disgusting, demeaning things I used to do not knowing that Jesus could change their life around. I am afraid for the prostitutes in Amsterdam who are traded and trafficked never knowing that they are fearfully & wonderfully made. I am afraid for the strangers walking by me on the street always being strangers and not spending eternity alongside of me as I worship God for forever. Oh, how this fear fills me.
I fear like their lives depend on it.
And you know what? They do.
So what do you fear? Are you like me? Rejection, loss of relationships, failure?
Now what do you fear more than those things? Do you fear people never knowing the life-changing Salvation you have come to know? Are you afraid that perhaps you have a gift or talent that could make the difference in someone's eternity if you hoard it in? Do you fear people existing for a moment, if not forever without Christ?
Do you fear enough to move your feet?
God, help us to fear for them, more than we fear for us. May we live our lives in this fear.
After all, our reputations can’t possibly be as important.
Eternities last way longer.