Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wish I found it easier to talk about Jesus”?
I often find myself wondering why I’m not more enthusiastic to offer prayer for someone, or to talk about how Jesus helps me make sense of life. I try to dissect why this calling to share the gospel and use Jesus’ name in conversation doesn’t always feel natural. Despite having friends who desperately need Jesus, I so often find it easier to leave Him out of the conversation.
What if talking about Jesus has always been a calling to make sacrifices, take risks, and confront fear?
I know it can feel awkward, scary, and just like a monumental effort to say Jesus’ name, but as I’ve thought about it more and more, I’ve found myself asking this question: what if we have the wrong mentality? What if talking about Jesus has always been a calling to make sacrifices, take risks, and confront fear? What if God is calling me to get over myself, forget however I feel, and choose to make Jesus known regardless?
For some of us, we might feel that talking about Jesus publicly could be costly. It could sacrifice our reputation with friends and colleagues, it could cost us friendships, or even relationships with family members. Jesus, however, makes it abundantly clear in the gospels that choosing to follow Him is going to be worth it in the end. When we see Jesus face-to-face, we won’t think for a second that the cost of telling others about Him was too high.
When we see Jesus face-to-face, we won't think for a second that the cost of telling others about Him was too high.
I was recently on a flight from Edinburgh to Stansted, reading a chapter on mission in my book, when I felt called to pray for the lady sat next to me. I had a sense that she needed prayer for her eyes, but I wasn’t sure, so I decided to leave it until later on in the flight. I was trying to pluck up the courage, when, about ten minutes before we were due to land, the pilot came over the speakers to say that we were coming into some turbulence in our descent. It was going to get bumpy, and seatbelt signs were going back on! I remember thinking, “what do I do now? How am I going to speak to this lady while we’re both being thrown back and forth in our seats?”
But then a really clear thought came into my mind: “don’t let the bumps stop you from being on mission for me.”
It was so convicting yet so empowering, and I clearly felt that it wasn’t just about the flight, but about all of life. Every day we have ups and downs; we’re thrown from left to right in the turbulence of the stresses, challenges, joys and successes of work, family and faith. But throughout, we are called to be on mission for Jesus. He is worthy of being proclaimed at all times, whether we feel like it or not.
Jesus' desire for people to know Him is ultimately far greater than my desire to avoid awkwardness.
In my experience, we very rarely feel like sharing Jesus enough to make the sacrifice of choosing to talk to a stranger (if you do, that’s great!). I have come to realise, however, that Jesus will often specifically prompt me to talk to someone about Him, because His desire for people to know Him is ultimately far greater than my desire to avoid awkwardness.
In the end, I spoke to the lady next to me, told her Jesus loved her and then offered to pray for her. It turned out I was wrong about the eyes, but she was a Roman Catholic and felt very encouraged to be reminded that Jesus loved her!
I got off the plane feeling more free than I had done in a while, reminded again that sharing Jesus is always a sacrifice worth making.