In my last few posts I have been very open about my Christian faith. This has come as a surprise to some. Not because they didn’t know, but because I hardly ever talk about it, if ever at all.
Paul, in 2 Timothy 1:8, tells us not to be ashamed of the Gospel. That’s what I worry that my reticence in sharing my faith verbally comes across as, but it really isn’t. The fact is that I am just really rubbish at it. I mean terrible. I want to talk about Jesus, but when I try I just come out with something which is so weak that it does no justice to Him whatsoever. I stumble over my words, can’t find the right thing to say and sound almost half hearted. I may as well be talking about leather exports from Paraguay and the socio-economic impact of declining cow populations in South America for all the knowledge I show about the subject.
I think there are two reasons for this. Firstly, I have a fear of coming across like, well, a weirdo. I mean more of one than I already do. Not that the subject matter is weird to me, it is far from that. It’s more that I don’t feel confident in my ability to strike the right balance between passion and beating people around the head with a Bible until they either submit or run away (metaphorically, not literally. Assault isn’t really my style). I have a real desire to share my faith and what I believe Jesus has done for us, but I am so conscious that many are not too interested, or even hostile to the Gospel, that I am terrified of saying too much or something really stupid and putting people off. This seems to hold my tongue back from managing to say anything at all.
The other reason is that I actually feel more comfortable writing about stuff which I find important or personal than I do talking about it. My post where I mentioned my depression was the first time nearly everyone who knows me had heard about it, because I’m happier communicating in this way, and the same goes with my faith. I can talk easily to people, but usually about trivial stuff, work stuff or other people’s issues rather than my own. This is a really good outlet for me and I’m finding unloading things I find important on this blog to be very therapeutic.
I have a lot of sympathy with Peter. Yes, He was the “rock” who Jesus built His Church on and he preached some wonderful sermons after Jesus’ resurrection as well as writing two wonderful letters which were included in the New Testament, but he was seriously clumsy with his words, especially around Jesus. He was a man with a knack of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, but God used what he had, built on it and enabled Peter to shape something amazing.
So I’ll use what I’ve been given. I’m not the writer or public speaker Peter was, but they’re where I’m most comfortable and most eloquent (I think!), so that’s what I’ll do. If God wants me for more He’ll let me know and equip me to do it.