Tonight I heard the song "Here I Go Again" by Casting Crowns for probably the third or fourth time, but tonight was the first time I actually listened to the words and they struck me. The song is a guy talking to God about his friend who he wants to tell about God, but he lets fear get in the way. The chorus goes like this:
"So maybe this time I'll speak the words of life
With Your fire in my eyes
But that old familiar fear is tearing at my words
What am I so afraid of?
'Cause here I go again
Talking' bout the rain
And mulling over things that won't live past today
And as I dance around the truth
Time is not his friend
This might be my last chance to tell him that
You love him
But here I go again,
Here I go again."
I thought about how often I have the chance to talk to people about God that I let slip away. An atheist named Penn Jillette said,
“I’ve always said, I don’t respect people who don’t proselytise. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell, or not getting eternal life, whatever, and you think, ‘it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward,’…how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytise? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? If I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming to hit you and you didn’t believe it, that that truck was bearing down on you, there’s a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more than that.”
...this is coming from someone who doesn't believe in God. So what am I so afraid of? I believe in God and that those who believe in Him have eternal life. Don't I want everyone to have that? Don't I want to spend eternity with all of the people I love? With the way I act, (or don't act for that matter,) one would think that I wanted to keep my salvation for myself and let others figure it out for themselves. Why do something that might upset people, right? Why make awkward situations and ruin your friendships?
My other fear, like he says in the song, "But how then will he know what he has never heard...Lord he has never seen mirrored in my life," is that people will just tell me I'm a hypocrite because many times my life doesn't mirror a life of someone who loves God and follows him.
I know that the devil likes to tell me lies that I start believe are the truth: that my sins scar me forever, that I can't be a witness because of the way I often live my life, that I should have guilt, that telling others about God isn't worth the suffering.
But these fears that I have are irrational because I believe in God. I believe that HE has the power to do all things, and that HE can work through me to reach people if it is HIS will. I don't have to have fear of rejection or anything else because God's word will accomplish what it was sent out to do. And Jesus never said following him would be easy, but He sacrificed everything for me...I think I can survive a little bit of awkwardness and some criticism.
I hope I'm not the only one who feels this way...that would be awkward...oh wait, that's the point.
Seriously, thank you for reading this and supporting me. I know the main point of this blog is to let my supporters of my mission trip know how things are going here, but God really put this on my heart tonight to share. So more updates soon to come...
"For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him." Philippians 1:29 (NLT)