I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen myself as an evangelist.
I love Jesus, I want other people to know him, but in all honesty, I’d really rather not be the person doing the awkward conversations, blushing, babbling, and hoping there’s an off-chance that someone gets saved at the end.
I’d really rather not be the person doing the awkward conversations, blushing, babbling, and hoping there’s an off-chance that someone gets saved at the end.
And, realistically, a new year is not going to immediately transform how I feel about that. We can talk a big game with resolutions – committing to total lifestyle overhaul, extreme weight loss, learning an entirely new skill – but just because I stayed up until midnight on New Year’s Eve (if I’m honest, I barely made it!), that doesn’t mean I’m magically a totally new person.
As we emerge bleary-eyed from the previous year, I have a tendency to look back and see the multiple times that I didn’t get it right. The moments when there was an opportunity to share Jesus, but I didn’t. The times when I should have spoken, stood, or even prayed out, and yet I didn’t. And as I look ahead, I fear that this year will be no different. Moments will pass, months will roll over, and I still won’t feel equipped as an evangelist to share the good news of Jesus.
But this isn’t the story that God speaks over me. He doesn’t see my life as “The diary of a failed evangelist”. He doesn’t hear my name and think, “Oh yes, the girl that didn’t mention Jesus last week”. His banner over me is love. His baseline emotion towards me is mercy. His constant response to me is grace.
So if God doesn’t see me as a failure, then why do I see myself that way?
It’s not that we don’t get it wrong. When I think of the times I’ve bottled it or fluffed it, God saw those moments too, but He covers them with His grace. He knows that in reality I can’t do this alone, and that’s why He promises to be with me every step of the way, His spirit guiding me, and His son giving me the best news ever to share with those around me.
This year, let’s get excited that we get to share Jesus.
This year, let’s get excited that we get to share Jesus. Let’s not feel pressured by the burden that we have to, but let’s remember that we get to – it’s a privilege. In every conversation, I don’t have to mention Jesus, but I do get to tell someone about how valued they are. In every interaction, I don’t have to give a full account of the gospel, but I do get to demonstrate how loved someone is. In every moment, I don’t have to have the perfectly articulated response to “Why does God allow suffering?”, but I do get to witness to the goodness, kindness, grace, peace, joy and overwhelming love that Jesus has won for me on the cross.
Nothing is wasted in God’s kingdom, and perhaps the moments when I most feel like I get it wrong, are the very moments where God is pleased with my obedience and uses it for good. It might start small, and it might not feel like much at first, but as we are faithful and persistent in the small moments, we will discover that God is faithful in the big moments – the ones where we’ll fall flat on our faces if he doesn’t show up.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17
2018 won’t really be a ‘new year, new me’, but it will be an opportunity to remember that I have already been made new, once and for all, and that that offer is open to everyone. I am not new every morning, but God’s mercies are, and each day brings a fresh chance to forget the mistakes of yesterday, and to press on, sharing Jesus wherever he takes me today.