Let’s admit it. Christians know we are supposed to be witnesses for Christ. We know we’re supposed to be bearers of good news. But we just don’t do it. And a lot of us feel shame and guilt.
And so we make excuses:
- I don’t know anyone who’s not a Christian.
- I don’t feel prepared to answer all those questions.
- I feel like such a hypocrite; I’m no great saint.
I know. I’ve made all the excuses too.
But here’s encouragement for you. We’ve been all wrong in our thinking. Being a witness is not a matter of “closing the sale.” Being a witness is not some kind of multilevel marketing scheme. Being a witness isn’t about answering objectives.
Being a witness simply means communicating Christ’s work in you.
That’s it. Communicating. Not selling. With that in mind, here are 6 encouraging truths to help you ease the guilt and be a witness.
1) Being a witness is a promise.
In Acts 1, Jesus promises the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and he says “you will be my witnesses.” These are promises made specifically to his disciples, but I believe they apply to all believers. If it’s a promise, then we can bank God making it happen.
2) Yes, you are a hypocrite.
We all are hypocrites. That truth is foundational to the Christian faith. We humans are amazing creatures of dignity, nobility, and grandeur. And we’re also grubby selfish rebels against God. We are made in God’s image, and we do all kinds of things to degrade that image every day.
How’s that encouraging?
Hypocrisy is the starting point, not the end point.
All humans are hypocrites. The Christian is one who realizes his hypocrisy and turns to Christ for healing.
Think of it this way – the good news is very simple. It’s not about what we do; it’s about what Christ has done.
3) You are already prepared.
You were prepared the moment you affirmed your faith in Christ. Go read about the Samaritan woman who encountered Christ at the well (John 4:1-42). She left that conversation and went back to her village where she simply told the story of her meeting with Jesus. “Come and see” she said – and the people of the village went.
Not much preparation there. No evangelism classes or fancy techniques.
She just told her story.
Now think about Christ’s work in your life. I’ll wager you have dozens, maybe hundreds of stories. They don’t have to be dramatic sagas. The simple stories are often the best.
4) Your lifestyle bears witness.
A simple kindness is a powerful proclamation. It has always been true, but in our era of aggressiveness and bluster, it is even more potent. In a coarse age, kindness differentiates you from others. Kindness, after all, is a fruit of the spirit. Smile, be polite, be courteous, be helpful. People will take notice.
5) You have opportunities every day.
Of course you know people who need to hear your stories about Christ. First, your Christian friends need to hear these stories to strengthen their faith. But you have plenty of other opportunities too. Have you considered that every visit to Starbucks or to the mall is a “short term missions trip.” Your bank teller, your barista, your mail carrier, and the kid behind the register at McDonald’s – they all are in need of human kindness. And when the opportunity arises, they need to hear your story.
6) The results don’t depend on you.
Paul talks about the efforts of different Christian leaders, comparing them to farmers who have different roles in raising crops. Paul says “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (I Corinthians 3:7). God is responsible for the growth. It’s God’s good delight to include us as co-workers in His service. God is the one who takes our humble efforts and makes them bear fruit.
There you go. 6 encouragements to help you stop feeling guilty and start being a witness. I hope this has been helpful. If so, please share with your friends. And be sure to sign up for my newsletter you’ll get a regular dose of inspiration and encouragement in your inbox.
Finally, carry on the conversation in the comments below: what helps you bear get over the guilt and start bearing witness?