Do you have something that you’re really passionate about? Usually it is something that you talk about often — and without much (if any) prompting. It just tends to bleed from you. These passions are usually brought up with some kind of assumption that others are interested — or that they should be.
Maybe you’re the “hunting-guy” or the “locally-sourced guy.” Maybe you’re the “vegan-lady” or the “everything-handmade-lady.” Maybe you’re the “newest-gadget-person.”
Chances are, most of us have that one thing that we are passionate about.
It’s funny. When you’re really passionate about something, it also kind of becomes the answer to a lot of people’s problems around you.
“Oh, you’re feeling down? Have you tried Keto?”
“You know, car-yoga really helped my traffic stress.”
“I’m so sorry for your loss! I have an oil to cheer you up!”
But for me, that passion is food. I love all kinds of food. But I particularly love my wife’s banana bread. Every year I have one Christmas request: a loaf of homemade banana bread. It’s the best.
And each year I have this odd decision to make: eat it all or share it with others. It’s tough.
I’m sure that most people aren’t anti-banana bread, but my guess is most people aren’t passionate about banana bread (and certainly not as passionate as I am). But then again, most people haven’t had my wife’s homemade banana bread.
All this going on and on about banana bread, the thought hit me one day: It has become so easy to talk about my wife’s banana bread recipe, but why is it so hard to talk about my faith in Jesus?
I remember when I used to be really intimidated by personal evangelism, and I marveled at those who were “good at it.” I certainly believe there are some who are better equipped or designed to be evangelists, but I’m learning more what personal witness and personal evangelism look like.
For several years, my family and I lived overseas in Europe. I would spend lots of time learning how to “do” evangelism. We lived in a city where people weren’t overly interested in spiritual matters. At times, it seemed we had a bunch of answers to questions no one was even asking.
Though not always, there were times that evangelism was this game of double-Dutch: waiting for the right time to jump in and talk about Jesus. If I do it wrong, will I get sent to the back of the line?
Ironically enough, I’ve never had any problems talking about banana bread. It’s something I absolutely love, and it didn’t matter if no one cared. And to be completely honest, I never really understood why others didn’t share the same enthusiasm for it. But that wasn’t important. To me, it’s the best thing, and no one will convince me otherwise. It’s a passion indeed.
For most of us, our passion for sharing Jesus isn’t always as strong as it is for sharing about diets or hobbies. If you don’t feel like you’re particularly gifted in personal witness, let me offer you a couple of questions to consider:
- How much space do I allow for God’s Word to really penetrate my heart? I’m talking more about quality than quantity. Do you really feel God speaking to you? A passion is also defined by the amount of resources we spend on it. This includes time and money, but especially brain-space. Is God speaking to you?
My experience says that He will usually speak through you as He is speaking to you. My experience has also told me that it will be hard to make true disciples of Jesus, if you are not a disciple of Jesus yourself.
- Do I really believe that God can redeem any situation and restore any person, even if others around me don’t believe it to be true? I think that is what holds a lot of us back in personal witness. Either we are unsure if God can really do what needs to be done, or we’re afraid of what others may think of our hope in Jesus.
The reality is, the gospel is true because we are products of that Good News. He redeemed us. Romans 3:23 along with 5:8 remind us of that powerful truth. He can redeem, because He has already.
The gospel is also the only thing that can truly heal what sin has broken. That doesn’t always mean people will receive that or want that, but that doesn’t make it any less true. The gospel is powerful and can redeem all that is broken!
Maybe ‘Jesus-guy’ or ‘Bible-lady’ don’t sound like appealing titles, but what if you looked for ways to intentionally share the redeeming story of Jesus, which you have experienced (and continue to experience), with those around you who may desperately need it?
Maybe it could even be around a cup of coffee and some homemade banana bread.
Name withheld for security reasons.