Happy TGIF Everybody!
Today, I was really contemplating for the past few days about the price of Discipleship. I personally realize within myself that as Christians, we have to learn to be more transparent about how we feel about the Lord. Transparency is an issue that not many people want to deal with because we know that it is not easy when we face criticism and pointing of fingers and also the threat of being persecuted for what you believe is a deterrent for others wanting to be transparent. However, with what I’ve been praying for, the Holy Spirit has being harping a lot to me about the need for Christians to be Transparent.
I asked myself how transparent am I?
Am I a “transparent Christian” or am I “Opaque”?
I find that with the things I’ve been able to share here, such as my personal stories about abuse and spiritual attacks I’ve encountered in my life in relation to witchcraft and the testimony of how I got saved, I can say that it took me a while to come out with these stories. It isn’t always so easy to testify. For me, the problem isn’t the story…I always feel the need to assess the timing and the type of audience that I can share my stories with. Some stories are a little far-fetched to some who are immature or are just babes in Christ and will take what I say the wrong way…and some stories are heavy and traumatic that it may take time for me to share with others, but with having blogged over time revealing a little bit more about myself here and there as I go along, I find that it is getting easier and easier with time.
I think that building upon transparency takes time as one conquers levels of fear each step at a time as one builds their faith is what I think the main issue is. I still struggle with areas of fear, but I have no problem admitting it. God has been helping me overcome with time and is building a boldness in me to speak the truth and tell it like it is on here and with people I encounter in my daily lives, so don’t be discouraged if you feel shy or are still uncomfortable about sharing your stories of faith with others. The whole point is to pursue building on that transparency in some way and if you don’t know how, seek help from more seasoned Christians and also do not forget to seek God to help you build courage and you will become bold when you take steps of faith.
Other questions that I have been contemplating about for the past week are:
Why are some Christians “closet Christians” while some others are seemingly more outspoken about their faith than others?
I can think of a few factors as to why this is so, but I think it boils down to two main things, it’s either Fear or Unbelief.
There are some Christians who are introverted and don’t know how to effectively communicate their faith because of Fear … or because they are simply shy and that is their personality type, Others who are extrovert seemingly have no problem and go all out which is awesome. This doesn’t mean that introverted persons have no means of sharing their faith, there are just so many ways we can do that if you really think about it, no need to over-complicate it just use what you already know how to do and maximize on using your gifts to do the job. I write pretty well, and I’m a pretty good story teller…I use this gifting in conversations and in my writing. That’s what I know how to do best and that is what I maximize on. Don’t put God in a box, use what you’ve got to give Him glory.
We also get those who claim they are “Christians” in name only, but seriously operate like they don’t believe in what they purport to believe. Their demonstration doesn’t match the character which can be confusing to the outsider looking in because to many that’s just a form a hypocrisy. We cannot be all about the information without the demonstration to back what we hopefully live. Evangelism is effective when we are honest and don’t come out as fakesters. It is important to be real at all times…people are moved by what is sincere rather than sugar-coated. It’s okay to discuss your weaknesses with non-believers because it just shows them that you are not superhuman just because you are Christian. We are fragile beings that need our Savior. That’s how we become like salt to the earth, we add flavor by preserving and maintaining that which is true, Amen!
I know that I struggle with fear, but that’s when we need encouragement from others to help us develop courage and boldness to do things that we normally wouldn’t do. You learn new things that way when you step outside your comfort zone. Let me tell you it isn’t always pleasant to step out of your comfort zone, but the rewards of what you learn in doing so far outweigh the discomfort. There are many instances that I’m bold in certain situations and then on the odd occasion I just freeze up because of Fear. It happens and it is still an issue I’m dealing with, *surprise surprise*, so fear not, you are not alone in this arena lol :D.
For those operating in a state of “I’m a Christian in name only but don’t really practice the faith” , you are living a compromised lifestyle that will lead you down the road further into the realm of developing a seared conscience. Don’t kid yourself. You have got to ask yourself why is it you lack faith period? Why continue to say you are Christian when you don’t believe in it anyway? As disciples of Christ, we have to consider that Faith is a demonstration of what you live and believe rather than what you say you believe without the actions to back it. It is an ongoing journey and no one is perfect…however, testimonies are derived by imperfections and prove that we need GOD, Amen!
I believe that there are many forms of evangelism that cater to different character and personality types. There was an article I read concerning introvert evangelism by RELEVANT magazine. Here is the link to the article:
I believe that we shouldn’t put people in a box and neither should we put God in a box either. We are all created differently with various giftings. We all evangelize differently and for some they thrive in the writing department which is something I’m good at, some thrive in volunteerism, singing, dancing, some are very good at just being listeners, readers, teachers, etc etc. The point is, there are various methods to evangelize your faith which cater to any personality type which include the introverted Christian. Some know how to be very outspoken than others, while others are more shy. I’m shy in some instances and then there are times when I’m just bold and daring. I think some people trap themselves in a situation of guilt when they believe that there is only one method of evangelism that is effective and that’s by outreach street evangelism. Like I said before in my other post, this method did not appeal to me at all when I started out, but it is effective in its own way; however, I think of it as just one form of evangelism, but there are so many avenues in today’s world to reach the lost.
Use the gift you know how to use is my advice. People thrive at what they are good at and I believe you’ll be successful in your approach when you realize that whatever you do well at is the area you can use to evangelize the message of hope.
Instead of tracts you can use different items that people will like…such as pens, bookmarks bracelets, pins, free t-shirts, business cards, iPhone covers, just as an example. Youth like cool stuff and people love freebies, I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t…sometimes it’s just as simple as buying someone coffee and talking about your faith. I have found these methods to be more effective in my walk. There are so many ways to reach someone…you don’t always have to use the archaic methods to do it, although I’m not suggesting that people stop street evangelism or anything. I’m just saying that if you find these traditional methods aren’t your type of thing…then use modern methods to grab peoples attention. It’s just that simple really, no need to be complicated.
My personality type is good at writing about what I believe, hence the blog. I also like volunteering my time to different social events. I’m also good at talking to people and listening to their problems, although I at some points prefer to have my own peace since sometimes people off load too much information that it becomes difficult to process, but then again, God wants us to stretch outside of our comfort zone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you stop being you, Amen!
I have here a video concerning the cost of discipleship. At the end of the day, there will come a point where we will have to take a stand on what we believe. No matter how uncomfortable it makes us, God wants to use those who are willing to overcome their Fears in order to stand on what they believe as Truth. Unbelief is something we must fight against and fear is not of God so we must pursue to operate with a spirit of courage and God will show you how you can effectively evangelize using the gifts you already have within the palm of your hand.
Don’t stress out if one form of evangelism isn’t for you…use what you know how to use and use that well. My last question that I will leave here for all of us to think about before watching this video is:
How far are you willing to go to be God’s Disciple?
God bless you everybody and have an amazing weekend!