Keep your faith Contagious
Whatever stage you're at, life is full of opportunities to share about Jesus with those around you. Yet, even in this world of easy communication, keeping your faith contagious can be pretty tricky. Well, perhaps youíre making some of these classic mistakes:
Speaking more than you listen – after all, they need to hear about Jesus and that’s not going to happen with you sat there silent, is it?
Never mentioning the difficult stuff about Jesus or the Bible – you wouldn’t want the weird bits about angels or violence to put them off.
Always winning the argument, whatever the cost – the truth of the gospel is at stake, so hammer them into the dust!
Making sure you look really impressive – surely they will only become a Christian if they think it works, so make sure they think you are flawless.
Packing the whole gospel into one conversation – after all, you’re probably this person’s last hope of becoming a Christian, so follow them out the door and down the street if you have to.
As you’ve probably worked out by now, sharing your faith like that would be a disaster. And the biggest mistake here is that Christians can fail to respect others as precious humans made in the image of God. All you end up communicating is that Christians don’t listen, don’t care, are opinionated and, worst of all, consider people of other worldviews stupid and not worth engaging with.
On the contrary, have you ever noticed that in the gospels Jesus never talked to two different people in exactly the same way? Could it be that He understood that each person is unique and worthy of respect? Does this mean that, whenever we share our faith with anyone, we’re not so much downloading information to people as we are dignifying them by appealing to and challenging their whole humanity, emotions and all? Something as significant as that probably needs some thought…
Imagine the impact of a generation of Christians who do the opposite of that stated above! Imagine a generation of Christians who:
- are humble enough to be the one asking the questions and listening, understanding that there is plenty to learn and affirm from other people,
- understand that God’s message is immeasurably powerful, so can have the confidence not to change it but unashamedly present it in all its wonderful, challenging, colourful variety,
- value others enough to try and win the person, rather than just the argument, understanding that the other person has real value and dignity just for who they are,
- can share how they need Jesus each day, not just to help them in their weakness but also to enable them live a more loving life by the power of His Holy Spirit,
- don’t desperately ram the whole gospel into every conversation, understanding the liberating truth that God’s Holy Spirit can use all sorts of opportunities to bring people closer to Him.
All that takes a little patient practice because it isn’t as easy as just following a recipe or memorising a method. But it could be a lot more exciting, couldn’t it?
And if you’re at uni, or about to start, then your Christian Union is a great place to learn how to share the gospel. Find your CU now at uccf.org.uk/link-up.
James Bunyan works in London for UCCF, an organisation which helps students tell their friends about Jesus.