In 1 Thessalonians 2:13 Paul writes, “…when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.” This immediately makes me think of Paul writing in Romans 1:16 “I am NOT ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the salvation to everyone who believes.” But really, a lot of times I am ashamed! I hate to admit it, but I am. I think that a lot of Christians are… that’s why we say things like “I’m just another guy, I just happen to be a Christian” and we try to fit in with “normal” people. We’re trying to have it both ways, to be “normal” while also being like Jesus. I think people expect pastors to be automatically immune to this type of shame, but we’re not. It’s just as intimidating for me to share the Gospel with a friend as it is for you.
I don’t want to be one of “those” Christians, who gives nonChristians ample opportunities to mock him for his faith because he’s just so showy. I simply want to be like Jesus: to love God with all I’ve got and to love the people around me the same way I’d want to be loved… and let that be what draws attention to my faith. More and more I’m growing convicted that I should stop trying to live so that nonChristians think I’m “normal.” Jesus doesn’t tell me to fit in, he tells me to be “the light of the world” – and I can’t do that if I want to blend in and not be noticed!
I shouldn’t go out of my way to try to fit with the people around me at the expense of the Gospel. Paul related to people on a pastoral and personal level, but there were also times when he said “Hey, listen up! God’s given me a message and you need to listen to this because GOD is speaking to you here, not me!” Am I too ashamed of the Gospel to actually speak it? Do I hide behind “speaking the Gospel through my actions?” Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I’m not always ashamed, but that I am ever ashamed of the Gospel is a problem to me, because that means I’m missing opportunities God is trusting me with to share his love and grace with those who need to hear it and receive it.
When it comes to your faith and evangelism, are you like this guy?